Sunday, May 15, 2011
Spring is here. And with that comes fresh greens from the garden as well as foraging for all kinds of good things nature has to offer. One of the closest and easiest things to forage is dandelions. I don't have to go far at all. I can find them in my own yard. Yesterday we had a sunny morning, a hot day ahead, and lots of dandelions in bloom.
To pick dandelions is easy - we needed a few quarts of flowers for several recipes, so we just plucked the heads right off. It is best to pick the dandelions early in the day - before full heat and before they wilt or close up. I know this is pretty obvious, but only pick from organic lawns -not anywhere that has been sprayed - and best to stay back from busy roads or where you know animals (dogs) have been doing their business.
What we wanted was enough dandelions for lemonade!
We found a really good recipe here via a Facebook friend - but since I am biologically incapable of ever following a recipe exactly I have my own version. ;)
1 quart of fresh dandelion flowers
3 lemons, juiced (organic best so you can use the rind too)
2 limes, juiced
1 knob of ginger (thumb sized), thinly sliced
honey to taste
filtered room temperature water
After picking the flowers rinse and drain them in cold water. Add them to a 1/2 gallon canning jar. To that add the juice of the lemons and limes, as well as a few (clean) rinds left from the squeezing, the ginger and the honey. Fill the canning jar with room temperature filtered water.
Let it steep for a few hours. From there strain it and chill!
A loves it plain (and cold!).
G loves it with a little elderberry syrup. "Pink" lemonade.
Both are delicious!
We have some more time in this dandelion season and are working on batches of dandelion vinegar, oil and a salve. Dandelions and their greens just have so much good stuff in them it is worth it all. And if you are looking for some other ways to eat the flowers - check out these recipes. Dandelion Fritters over at Clean. And Dandelion Cookies at 5 Orange Potatoes. Yum.