Creative Ways to Use Dandelions – Organic Gardening – MOTHER EARTH NEWS
Dandelions grow just about everywhere in the world, dotting lawns and defiantly sprouting through sidewalk cracks. Though dandelions are incredibly common, they’re also powerful herbal medicine and tasty edibles at the same time.
Medicinally, whole dandelion plants are often made into a dandelion tincture, which has traditionally been used for skin and urinary tract problems. Herbalists use the blossoms as a treatment for sore muscles, in the form of a dandelion salve or dandelion infused oil.
Beyond herbal medicine, dandelions are just plain tasty. Dandelion roots can be cooked like carrots or roasted and brewed into dandelion root coffee. The greens are eaten fresh in salads or cooked with a bit of oil or salt. Dandelion blossoms can be made into simple dandelion fritters without much effort too.
A simple hard candy flavored with dandelion blossoms, this dandelion candy will put a smile on anyone’s face.
An old school classic, dandelion wine has been made in country households for generations. If you make a small batch, it doesn’t require too many flowers. A five-gallon batch is a serious time investment, not in the harvesting of the flowers but in separating the flavorful petals from the bitter greens.
Want to add beautiful color and a subtle honey flavor to your homemade bread? Dandelion bread is really unique, and I bet the kids will love homemade sandwiches made with this sunny loaf.
Dandelion Gummy Bears
My kids absolutely love gummy bears, and it’s incredibly easy to make them at home with just a few ingredients. As a bonus, the homemade ones are much healthier and you can choose to sweeten them with raw honey for a healthier treat. Dandelion gummy bears are fun to make, and there’s something about watching my 2-year-old harvest dandelions for his own treat that makes them extra special.
Dandelion Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread is incredibly simple to make, with just three ingredients: flour, sugar and butter. Mix in dandelion petals and you take a simple cookie and add wild foraged excitement. My little ones really loved helping with every part of this dandelion shortbread recipe.
Dandelion and Honey Marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows are easy to make, no corn syrup or special equipment required. These dandelion honey marshmallows just need a few dandelions, honey and gelatin. For equipment, all it takes is a stand mixer and cake pan. Who knew you could make your own (healthier) marshmallows? And they taste even more like honey with dandelion petals…
Dandelions are edible flowers, and there are so many creative ways to use them.