Monday, April 25, 2011

Dandelion Leaf Recipes

Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion)
Here in Nova Scotia, dandelions are ready for picking! They provide us with the perfect tool for a spring cleanse - their leaves - just cut them at the crown and wash them thoroughly... more will grow back!

A wonderful, local herbalist, Jeanette Porrier, has provided these delicious Springtime recipes for us to savor!

Cooking with Dandelions
All parts of the dandelion are edible. Leaves are used as a vegetable; roots can be cooked for food or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute, and flowers used for wine.

When using the leaves pick when still young and tender before they have started to bloom. Harvest in clean areas away from major highways, dog doo, or pesticide application.

Dandelion Salad
Young dandelion leaves
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil or to taste
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or to taste
A few grains of salt

Clean dandelion leaves thoroughly. Sprinkle with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and toss.

Warm Dandelion Salad
(This is good when the dandelions are a little more mature)
1 Liter dandelion leaves, well washed
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
A few grains sea salt

Steam dandelion leaves or cook in a small amount of water till tender. Drain. Add oil, vinegar and salt and toss. Serve warm.

Dandelion and Onion
1-2 Liters dandelion leaves, well washed
1 large onion, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Steam dandelion leaves or cook in a small amount of water till tender. Drain.
In a fry pan, cook chopped onion in oil until soft and slightly browned. Add cooked dandelion, salt and pepper and stir well together. Serve as a side dish.

If you would like to be added to Jeanette's seasonal e-mail newsletter, you may contact her directly:

HerbalWizdom Nature Therapy
Jeanette Poirier, CHT
Medical Herbalist
Blockhouse, NS

Friday, April 8, 2011

Herbs To Harvest!

As surely as the crocuses bloom in Spring, so does Coltsfoot! It's a sure sign that Spring has sprung and we need to get busy collecting a new harvest of herbs for the year ahead. Most dried herbs have a medicinal shelf life of about a year if they are kept sealed and out of the sunlight.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara) can easily be mistaken for Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) but when observed closely, it has some distinct differences. Coltsfoot flowers come before the plant gets leaves. Dandelions get their leaves at the same time that Coltsfoot gets flowers. Coltsfoot flowers, therefore, serve as a great reminder to also harvest Dandelion leaves! Remember to collect in a natural area that is not sprayed with chemicals and is not blasted with toxins from cars or trains. Stay tuned for upcoming posts with more tips on collecting, drying and tea making.

Coltsfoot is used as a respiratory disinfectant, expectorant, and cough suppressant. Since the days of ancient Greece and Rome, coltsfoot has been used to relieve asthma, coughs and bronchial congestion. Collect the flower tops now and dry/dehydrate them for future use.

Dandelion leaf is one of the best diuretics on the planet and it is a fabulous source of nutrients and great digestive bitters. Now is the perfect time to harvest the young green leaves as they are still full of nutrients that will later be used to produce flowers. Eat some fresh tossed in salads etc. and dry/dehydrate some for future use.

It's easy, quick and fun so take a moment to bond with mother nature, step outside and pick an herb! :)

Please feel free to post questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I will also be posting links to some great herb sites in the sidebar as time permits so keep an eye out for those!

Green blessings,
Original posting: April 16, 2010