Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free Food - Dandelions


Other Diet Posts
My Diet - The Beginning
Cereal Bowl Cakes
More Diet Food Ideas

Vegetable Garden Posts
My Vegetable Garden - The Beginning




Free Food - Dandelions

I have heard about these plants before but did not do anything about the information until recently.
My vegetable garden is based on a talk by Jill Cockram. You can read her article at http://permaculturesouthernhighlands.info/journal/mandala.htm

Part of her talk focused on the benefits of growing and eating dandelions. She encouraged her listeners to plant some of these little treasures in amongst the other herbs and vegetables. I did not deliberately do this, but in my most recent patch of seedlings a nest of dandelions sprang up.

To start with I was just going to pull them out and put them back in the mulch bin. Then I decided to do some research and find out what parts of the plant I could eat and when to harvest them. After doing the reading I decided to pull them all out at about one month old. They were very tender and easy to pull without disturbing the other plants. The literature I read suggested that plants that had not matured to flower stage were much easier to prepare for eating.

I put them in my kitchen sink with a quantity of fresh cold water and washed off the loose mulch. I did not bother to blanch them, just put them in a plastic bag and straight into my freezer. I know that blanching is recommended for long term storage but I do not intend to keep them very long and I will not be thawing them out before I cook them.

The next day I decided to use my Cereal Bowl Cake recipe to make a snack. Instead of using the sweet ingredients I used some chicken soup diet food that I had made up using some gravy powder. I grabbed a few of the dandelions out of the freezer and crushed them up, really easy when they are frozen. These were added to the mix just before I put it in the microwave.

I was very happy with the results and have made more since. The next thing will be to add the dandelions to my standard meals along with any other green leaf vegetables. I will certainly be making sure that I get a few dandelion seeds for future planting with my vegetables next time they flower in my front lawn.

If you want to read more about dandelions http://www.articlesbase.com/article-tags/dandelion has quite a lot of information.

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