Monday, February 25, 2008

The Dandelion


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"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
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~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Dandelion Greens are the most nutritious leafy vegetable you can buy. They contain one of the highest levels of vitamin A of all greens and also contains high concentrations of vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium and electrolytes. The young leaves can be used as salad greens or cooked as you would spinach, the roasted roots as a healthy coffee substitute or raw as a tea. They support digestion, and help reduce swelling and inflammation.
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Dandelion flowers have been used throughout history to make dandelion wine, they can be stir-fried as an interesting and colorful change of vegetable or added raw to a salad. Dandelion flower tea with a little honey can provide relief for headaches, and stomach aches. It is a relative of the sunflower but is widely regarded and much maligned - as a weed.
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The Dandelion has a long history. Early colonists brought it to North America, where indigenous people saw its value and used it for its medical and nutritional benefits.
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(Our kitty in the Dandelion patch.)
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I buy Dandelion Greens at the grocery store (Whole Foods - Safeway) but also grow a hearty (pesticide free) patch in my backyard. They can be a bit bitter if the leaves are not young and tender but I love them in the recipe below or fried up like you would any greens in a skillet.
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1 Cup Raw______Vitamin A_______Vitamin K______Calcium________Iron_(Daily Value)
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Dandelion -_______54%___________188%__________10%___________9%
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Broccoli -_________12%___________112%__________4%____________4%
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Dandelion Greens with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette
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Serves 6–8
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2 1/2 pounds dandelion greens, tough leaves discarded
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
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Cut top 5 inches from greens and reserve leaves. Cut remaining greens into 3/4-inch slices._
Transfer all greens to a large salad bowl.
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For the dressing, in a small heavy skillet sauté garlic and nuts in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden.
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Stir in vinegar and salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste.
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Pour hot vinaigrette over greens and toss to combine.
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Nutrition Info
Per Serving (174g-wt.): 140 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 5g protein, 16g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium
(Recipe Courtesy of Whole Foods)

4 comments:

Joanna Goddard said...

wow, who knew? your blog is so pretty.

notsocrafty.com said...

Gorgeous images as always, I never knew dandelions were so good for you. I knew they were edible but I don't think I've ever tried them. I'll have to check it out next time I'm at the grocery store.

Lisa said...

Interesting, very interesting. Poor ol Dandelion, so showy and happy to pop up and be noticed, only to be described by most as a weed. Hence, being blown into places unknown by children and mothers alike. A new salad is on the menu to try!
Great post sabina!
I do adore your blog, you know--
Lisa
coastal nest

love.boxes said...

I did not know that! :) I like dandelions, but not in my lawn. :) They are a very beautiful shade of yellow though.

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