The topic today is dandelion. Yes, the little yellow flowers that your kids pick for you in the spring if you’re lucky enough to have a yard, dandelion. But not the flowers, the leaves.
I’m writing about them not because I cook or eat them very often. It’s because they are part of the husband’s Pennsylvania Dutch heritage – wilted greens- and because he loves to tell everyone about their French name (story #47 of his). This plant is really kind of marvelous in it’s medicinal properties and was actually listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia as a diuretic until 1926. It’s been a part of folk medicine in many eastern countries. Nutrient-wise, it’s one of the top four of all green vegetables, and in the top 50 of power herbs. Who would have guessed?
I am so impressed by everything this plant contains, and by it’s ability to survive almost anywhere. My theory is that God made this plant with lots of what we need and put it where we could find it easily because we might need it someday. All parts of it can be eaten. The root is being studied because of its cancer fighting properties. I could go on, because reading about it makes you want to go out and get some NOW, but look at this:
1 serving provides this amount of RDA (recommended daily allowance)
- 9% dietary fiber
- 19% of vitamin B-6
- 20% of riboflavin
- 58% of vitamin C
- 338% of vitamin A
- 649% of vitamin K
- 39% of iron
- 19% of calcium
- and a lot of antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin
And since I did find some in the grocery store this week, we are going to eat wilted dandelion salad tonight. I will cook up some beef bacon to flavor the greens, wilt them and serve over potatoes.
Okay, I won’t go into all of story #47 but the word dandelion comes from “dente de lion” or tooth of the lion which is the pointy shape of the leaves. And “pissenlit” is French for wetting the bed, and that could happen if you eat too much dandelion. Just sayin’…