Dandelion is not just an intrusive weed, it works wonders in the kitchen. Prepare a salad, honey, tea or coffee from it!

A yellow flowering plant that is almost everywhere in the spring.

Many gardeners also have an endless battle with it, because they consider it a weed.

Dandelion can also be a culinary ingredient that can be used to make a whole range of delicacies.

It is edible from the root to the leaves to the flowers.

How to get rid of excessive bitterness?

What health ailments can its consumption help us with?

Follow us in the footsteps of this underrated herb.

What is a dandelion?

When we think of a dandelion, most of us think of a plant with deep yellow flowers that eventually turn into white fluff that young children happily blow into. At the turn of spring and summer, meadows, city lawns and gardens are full of it. There are many types of dandelions, they were previously mistaken for one. However, most of us cannot recognize the individual species, as they look very similar.

From a botanical point of view, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a representative of the star plant family. As can be seen from its generic name, it contains many medicinal effects that have been used by mankind for centuries. There are also many ways to make this herb a part of our diet. It can be consumed practically whole.

Whole dandelion plant with root in a wicker basket.
source: tasteofhome.com

Dandelion or cream?

Many of us call dandelion cream. This designation is simply related to the fact that after the stem or leaf is plucked, a white liquid that resembles cream flows out of the plant, sometimes it is also referred to as milky. This latex also leaves brown stains on skin or clothing after drying.

How does a dandelion taste?

Dandelion, like for example the chicory, to which it is distantly related, is generally characterized by a bitter taste. If this bitterness bothers you, remove the flowers before using the green sepals, and for the leaves, prefer young leaves, which are less bitter. Soaking them in salt water or boiling them can also help.

What does dandelion contain?

The cream contains many valuable substances and plant compounds that give it its healing effects. The table shows the values for 100 grams of fresh dandelion leaves.

Calorie Water Proteins Fats Carbohydrates Fiber
45 calories 85.6 g 2.7 g 0.7 g 9.2 g 3.5 g

Cream contains minerals such as calcium, copper or iron.

Potassium Phosphorus Magnesium Manganese Copper Calcium Zinc Iron
397 mg 66 mg 36 mg 0.342 mg 0.171 mg 187 mg 0.41 mg 3.1 mg

In addition, it also contains a large amount of vitamins A, E and K.

Beta-carotene Vitamin A Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B6 Vitamin C Vitamin E Vitamin K
5850 µg 10200 IU 0.19 mg 0.26 mg 0.806 mg 0.251 mg 35 mg 3.44 mg 778 µg

How to eat dandelion?

Dandelion leaves are most often eaten, which are added to salads, or the flowers are used to make dandelion honey, wine or oil. Dandelion flour is made from the dried and ground roots, and last but not least, they can be used as a substitute for coffee. There are many different ways to process dandelion .

  • Young dandelion leaves from our own garden, which we are sure have not been chemically treated, are especially suitable for preparing salads. Cream leaves can be very well used to enliven egg salads .

  • However, dandelion leaves can also be used in warm cuisine, for example in recipes for cream soups . They perfectly enliven and add another green color to spinach or cabbage soup.

  • You can also add cream leaves to pasta or steam them similar to spinach recipes . A simple side dish is very tasty when you stew the leaves with garlic and onion.

  • Dandelion flowers can also be easily used as an edible decoration for various desserts.
A plate with dandelion, onion, grapefruit and pomegranate salad.
source: myrecipes.com

When and how to collect dandelion?

Almost everything can be collected from the dandelion, leaves, flowers and root. The leaves can be collected throughout the growing season from April to September, the most delicious are the young leaves, which are not so bitter and at the same time have a higher content of vitamin C. The flowers are best collected soon after flowering, especially if you want to dry them afterwards.

The root can be collected either in spring or autumn. The general rule is to collect it when the plant is not in bloom, when the bark is sweeter and contains more nutrients. The flowers and leaves are collected simply with scissors, you will need a small shovel or spade to collect the root.

Dandelion honey

The preparation of this snack is very simple, in addition to fresh dandelion flowers, you will only need water, cane sugar and lemon. 1.5 liters of water and 1.5 kilograms of sugar are recommended for two cups of flowers. First, boil the flowers together with the lemon slices in water. Then let the mixture cool and infuse overnight. The next day, strain everything, add sugar and boil to dissolve the sugar and thicken the mixture.

Jar with dandelion honey and dandelion flowers.
source: nordicforestfoods.com

Dandelion tea

Dandelion flowers can also be used to make a tasty tea. It is usually recommended to pour 250 milliliters of hot water over eight fresh dandelion flowers and leave to infuse for approximately 5-10 minutes. Then strain the tea and, if necessary, flavor it with honey or lemon. The recommended amount is 2-3 cups per day. Dried and ground dandelion root can also be used to prepare tea. In this case, milk or cream is often added to the tea.

A cup of tea made from dandelion flowers.
source: gardeningknowhow.com

Dandelion syrup

Tea or other drinks can be sweetened not only with dandelion honey, but also with syrup. To prepare it, you will need fresh dandelion flowers, water, sugar and fresh lemon juice. The procedure is similar to the preparation of honey.

First, the flowers are boiled very briefly, then the mixture is allowed to cool and infuse, and the next day, sugar and lemon are added and everything is boiled until the amount is reduced by half. You can also use the syrup to flavor desserts.

Dandelion coffee

Dried and ground dandelion roots can be used to make a drink that resembles coffee, but does not contain caffeine. Cleaned roots must first be dried for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 200°C and then ground. The resulting powder can be processed immediately or stored in an airtight container, similar to regular coffee.

Two teaspoons of ground powder from the root is usually used to make one cup of dandelion coffee. Just pour hot water over and season according to personal preferences.

Sheet with chopped pieces of dandelion root.
source: putumayokitchen.com

What is dandelion good for?

Cream is used in many forms of traditional medicine and can also be found in many dietary supplements.

  • Supports healthy digestion – Dandelion root is rich in the carbohydrate inulin, a type of soluble fiber found in plants that supports the health of gut bacteria in the digestive tract.

  • Diabetes Prevention – Dandelion contains bioactive compounds, cecanic acid and chlorogenic acid, which have been shown to lower blood sugar levels.

  • Prevention of cardiovascular diseases – some compounds in dandelion can reduce the level of triglycerides and cholesterol, which are risk factors for a number of heart diseases. Dandelion also contains potassium, a mineral associated with lowering blood pressure.

  • Detoxification and help with problems with the urinary system – the cream has a diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect, so it is used in the treatment of various inflammations of the urinary system. At the same time, it cleanses the kidneys and the whole body of toxins.

  • Anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants – sour cream can reduce inflammation thanks to certain compounds such as polyphenols. In addition, it contains a number of antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Curbing cancer growth – some research has linked dandelion root to suppressing various types of cancer, such as liver, stomach and colon.

  • Improves skin health – Dandelion extract helps protect skin from sunlight, aging and acne. Studies show that cream can also support the formation of new skin cells.

Side effects

Dandelion consumption is generally well tolerated. People with sensitive skin may develop contact dermatitis. According to some research, dandelion may also interact with certain medications, including certain types of antibiotics or blood sugar-lowering medications.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)