Dandelions are not weeds! They are wild vegetables. In Greek mythology, Hecate fed Theseus dandelions for 30 days so he would become powerful enough to defeat the Minotaur. Though this is just the stuff of legend, this story gives us an insight as to the powerful properties of the lowly dandelions.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared that dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli and spinach. Attractive to birds and deer, these wild vegetables make excellent food for gerbils, hogs, cows, horses, and poultry.
Do you know that in Pueblo, Colorado it is illegal to grow dandelions? These folks are certainly missing a lot. Dandelions may taste bitter, but if harvested and cooked right, they can be delicious while they are downright nutritious.
And here are some more little known facts. Dandelions have medicinal value as a diuretic; fats and cholesterol cutter; gas pain reliever; treatment for kidney stones; cancer and diabetes fighter; blood cleanser; weight reducer; vision sharpener; skin and acne treatment; bowel functions regulator; blood pressure controller; and, solution to the anemia problem.
Dandelions can flavor beverages and juices; and may be used in recipes for omelets, salads, gelatins, quiche, soup, pasta dishes, breads, pizza, gravy, dips, spreads, pies, cookies, jellies, waffles, fritters, and pudding. And did we mention ice cream?
All parts of the dandelion are useful. The leaves can be cooked as table vegetables; the blossoms transformed into wines and jelly; and last but not the least, the roots can be made into coffee. So the next time you pass by a field of dandelions, don't just remark out how yellow the whole place looks-pick some along the way, and try them for lunch!