Growing right in your own yard is one of the most nutritious greens around. The green on those little yellow flowers called dandelions are superfood: low calorie, nutrient-rich and cleansing. Just one cup of raw chopped dandelion greens is 25 calories and contains 112 per cent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A, 32 per cent daily value of vitamin C and more calcium than a cup of cottage cheese. Dandelion greens also contain the antioxidant lutein, which is good for keeping your vision healthy.
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Things you need
- Bunch of dandelion greens
- Olive oil
- Balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- Steamer basket
Buy a bunch at your local grocer. Organic is best, but not necessary. You can also pick them right from your yard in the spring time, but not from a pesticide-sprayed area. The greens are best when young. Place the greens in a colander and wash them well with cold water. Pat the greens dry with paper towel.
Mix raw dandelion greens in with your salad. They will add a tangy and slightly bitter flavour. Sprinkle apple cider vinegar or lemon juice over one cup of dandelion greens. Allow the greens to wilt a bit before eating. Or, put some dandelion greens on top of your sandwich, to add a crunchy bite. Raw, the greens are a known as a spring green and promote cleansing of the liver and kidneys. Dandelion greens stimulate digestion and are a mild laxative.
Steam a bunch of dandelion greens in a steamer basket for two minutes or until the greens are tender. Remove them from the heat and let them drain. Add a dash of salt and pepper and sprinkle a little balsamic or apple cider vinegar on the greens. Serve as a side dish with fish or another lean meat.
Try them sautéed. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee finely chopped onions and garlic in oil for four minutes. Add 2 cups of greens and stir. Keep stirring over heat until greens are wilted. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper and serve. Sauteed greens can be added to pasta or stir fry dishes, too.
Tips and warnings
- Search the Internet for dandelion green recipes. A good one to try is dandelion green salad made with bacon, eggs and onions.
- Salt helps to cut the bitter flavour of the greens. So, if it tastes too bitter, add more salt.