Enjoying Dandelions That Are Never Bitter

Dandelion roots are fabulous when roasted, and they brew up a “coffee” that smells just like chocolate. The young leaves of the dandelion are a wonderful addition to spring salads, but they are in the “bitter greens” family of wild foods, which for some people means they try to mix them in with other, less bitter greens so they are palatable. That’s certainly one option, but there’s another as well.

The sweetest part of the plant is the bloom.

Dandelion heads pop off easily, but if you toss them directly in your salad you may still be wincing at the bitterness.

The bitterness is not a result of the yellow petals, but of the white latex that bleeds out of the stem and leaves when it’s broken. You can see the milky latex on this broken off rosette of another plant in the dandelion family.

White plant latex is bitter
White plant latex is bitter

Nutrition without bitterness

The trick to getting the yellow petals (and the wealth of nutritive power) without bitterness is to snip off the green bracts or flower base under the petals. 

I picked these from back behind our shed where they are growing to a ridiculously large, sunny size. It took me 5 minutes to pick as many as I wanted, and about twice that amount of time to cut the green bracts off.

Cut off this green base, leaving only yellow petals
Cut off this green base, leaving only yellow petals

I didn’t wash these because I wanted all the pollen. Well, whatever pollen the bees had left me. This lady is bottom up in her dandelion pollen, so I left that one for her.

I ended up with about 2 cups of dandelion petals, and used them to make smoothies. I put my recipe below, and here’s a link to another smoothie recipe made with dandelion petals and hosta greens.

Big bowl of dandelion petals
Big bowl of dandelion petals

Dandelion Petal Smoothies

Blend in a Vitamix blender:

  • 2 cups dandelion petals
  • 1 cup cauliflower (I used leaves/stems)
  • 4 cups dark leafy greens (foraged!)
  • 1 can whole coconut milk
  • half can of water or juice
  • 2 kiwis
  • 8 almonds

Makes two Mason jar smoothies. Store tightly covered in fridge for up to 3 days. Delicious & nutritious.


 

0 comments on “Enjoying Dandelions That Are Never Bitter

Leave a Reply