I love seeing lawns and fields filled with dandelions. They bring such vibrancy after a long, dreary winter. And…they are an amazing spring food. In fact all parts of the versatile dandelion are edible – the flowers, stems, leaves, and roots!
Traditionally dandelion’s leaves and stems were used to help support the kidneys clearing out wastes from the body, exactly what you need after a winter of heavy foods. Their bitter flavour also stimulates the release of digestive juices which helps you break down your food and absorb it better. The roots are generally harvested in the fall, but you can harvest them any time. They are an amazing liver support and can be used to make super tasty dandelion coffee. Last, but not least we have the flowers which are rich in anti-oxidants and beta carotene which we convert to vitamin A in the body.
I’m guessing you know what a dandelion looks like BUT ALWAYS consult at least three guides before eating anything edible. There are actually a few plants that look kinda like dandelion (sow thistle, goats beard, hawkweed). I suggest picking your dandelions on a clear, sunny day when the flowers are open and looking glorious. Dandelion will close up looking rather angry on cloudy days. Harvest only from a non-chemically treated area. To harvest simply pop off the dandelion head leaving 1/4 in or so of the stem (it makes handling them easier).
Got your dandelion flowers? Let’s get started!
Serves 2-3 people.
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup flour (use a gluten-free flour for gluten-free)
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 cups of dandelion flowers
- A bit of honey, maple syrup, or cinnamon (optional)
- Dried spices (optional)
- Sauce of your choice – sweet or savory!
- Rinse dandelion flowers well in cool water and pat dry on a paper towel.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan.
- While oil is heating up mix flour, cornstarch, and water in the bowl to make a batter.
- At this point, if you want sweeter fritters, you can add a little maple syrup or honey, or cinnamon . For savory fritters, you might dried sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, or even cayenne pepper.
- Hold one of the dandelion flowers by the greens at the base, twirl the flower into the batter until covered.
- Place it into the skillet, petals down. Continue to add more dandelions watching them carefully!
- Flip over to brown the other side. Beware – they cook quickly!
- Remove with tongs and place on a paper towel to remove some of the oil.
- Serve warm with a bit of honey, maple syrup, salt and pepper, and/or savory sauce (I like the sauce you use for somasas and pakoras).