Get Baked: Dandelions, More Than Just a Weed

You’re broke and bemoaning the fact that money doesn’t grow on your lawn. Well, dear Autostraddlers, lucky for you, your food does! And even if you don’t have your own lawn, your food grows in other peoples’ lawns, in yards, and in parks! Don’t worry, I’m not calling you a cow. I’m just suggesting you eat dandelions.

You may be broke as fuck, but who needs money when you can look at pretty flowers and then pick them to serve your needs — and I mean all your needs. Need to get drunk? The dandelion is here for you. Need to chill out with some anti-cancer tea? Look no further than the dandelion. And finally, who doesn’t want pretty flowers in their salad? Yeah, that’s right, dandelion flower salad is a thing — it is a nice complement to the toast from your toaster oven and should be the staple food at all your AS brunches and lesbian potlucks!

Dandelion Wine

via tppermaculture.blogspot.ca

Dandelion Wine is a classy drink. Sure, you can use it to fulfill your drunken-debauchery quota; but when I imagine people drinking dandelion wine, they are in a garden wearing pretty hats and perchance speaking with British accents.

Here is what you’ll need:

The flowers from enough dandelion flowers to fill a big-ass gallon-sized bucket.
3lb of sugar
2 lemons
2 oranges
½ oz of yeast

Here’s what you do:

Start by pouring a gallon of boiling water over the flowers. Leave it for three days (yes, this recipe requires patience) and stir the mixture every day (yes, this recipe requires persistence). Finally, after three days, strain into a deep pan or pot and add lemons and oranges. Bring the mixture to a boil for about five minutes. Then cool. Add yeast and let ferment for three more days. Cork, leave for two months, bottle. Then invite a bunch of classy ladies over, wear fancy hats, discuss kittens in fake British accents. Unless you have a real British accent.

Dandelion Tea

via weheartit.com

Dandelion tea is really good for you. In addition to being anti-cancer, it’s a diuretic, helps cleanse your liver and your gallbladder. Researchers are spending 157 thousand dollars to figure out what makes it so special; but you don’t need to spend anything to make this tea.

Here’s what you need:

Dandelion roots

Here’s what you do:

Pull the roots out of the ground. You may have to dig a bit for them. You can use your hands, if you’re hardcore like that, or a small shovel. Once you have gathered a cupful of roots, wash them and use a coffee grinder to make dandelion root powder. Steep your powder in hot water and you have tea! You can drink it just like that or add nutmeg, clover, sugar, anything really for taste.

Flower Salad

via iscreamicecreams.tumblr.com

Easy-peasy.

Here’s what you do:

You get some dandelions, you chop off their flowery heads, you put said heads in a salad. What kind of salad? Any salad! That’s the wonderful thing about dandelions. They go with everything. Greek salad. Caesar Salad. Salad that you hastily throw together with the veggies in your fridge before they go bad.

Enjoy eating flowers. Just remember to ensure the dandelions you’re using haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. This is about eating flowers, not poison. Remember how magic happens when girls and flowers are together.


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Malaika

Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 1 article for us.

24 Comments

  1. First of all, another awesome post by you! Maybe it’s because you’re a fellow Canadian, but I feel very connected to your through our hatred of Harper, our love of Rick Mercer and now…dandelions. Every spring I dig up piles of dandelion roots so my wife can make us tea!

    We roast them in the oven, 325 until they are dark (couple hours?), before grinding them though. It makes more like a coffee than a tea. I will definitely try to make that wine though, since I’m already making experimental beer and wine.

    Not sure I’d eat the flowers though.

    Again, super great article!

  2. ah dandelion wine! I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how to make such thing since reading ‘Just Kids’
    “…sit and talk, smoke cigarettes, and pass around jars of dandelion wine …”

  3. Yes. I have had dandelion tea that is like coffee, made out of roasted dandelion roots, and with chai spices too, and also with almond mild in a latte thing and it was awesome. I bought it from a food co-op in Melbourne though, I haven’t seen it since! Malaika, these things look like a lot of work!

  4. I baked some dandelion bread early last fall, with the flower heads kneaded into the dough:
    highdeas in cooking: dandelion bread
    Sadly I didn’t taste them first and those particular flowers were super bitter. I’d try again if I found another decent source of pesticide-free flowers but I definitely recommend sampling them before using.

  5. Yes! I’m so glad youve written this article! big internet air five! high time that “weeds” get a proper place at the table, tip o’ my garden hat. and im especially glad that youve included the “eat your lawn” phraseology. yesyes to home gardening and foraging for food in all bits of wilderness whether its a patch in your backyard or beyond. one note/Q is about the dandelion tea/coffee – maybe you should include a note about drying the roots? ive learned to roast them in the oven. later you can even use the grounds in an espresso machine, make yourself a “soy dandy” at home.

    overall supa hell yes for a post on eating flowers, one of my favorite things to do.
    if youre talking brunch, how about a flower frittata!

  6. I don’t really love dandelion greens for salads, I find them to be super bitter, but maybe if you cooked them somehow they could be tasty? In like a stirfry with some some like soy sauce/brown sugar glaze and some peppers to sweeten it up a little bit?

    Also, I have heard that it is pretty important to use *brewing* yeast, which is not the same as bread yeast or nutritional yeast. That can be kind of hard, though I’ve known people who bought it at fancy beer shops or on the internet. Using bread yeast might turn out *okay* but I think using the right kind of yeast is probably ultimately important.

    Also, nasturtiums! You can grow those in a flower-box and they are totally awesome in salads.

  7. cant contain myself on the eating flowers topic:
    tatsoi flowers! broccoli flowers! mustard green flowers! squash/zucchini flowers (used to make some amazing apps @ thai restaurant by filling the flowers with cream cheese & spice mixture, twisting tips to seal, batter and fry. can be done at home by cutting a corner off a ziplock to make improv pastry bag), mint flowers, basil flowers, oregano, rosemary, dill, cilantro, all kinds of herbs, lavender (find someone w an ice cream maker and make some lavender & honey ice cream!), chamomile of course (but how about in soup, flavoring to rice, salads? yesyesyes), calendula, lemon balm, chives & garlic, fennel, ginger, the list goes on and on. sometimes we get really busy and plants in the garden “go to flower” right? so eating all parts is a good way to use, appreciate, and enjoy all the a plant has to offer. if the beast called time management is being unruly, just eat flowers and dont worry about ‘waste’

    also, super easy flower infused oils: a boil bathed sterilized mason jar + almond or olive oil + flowers, let sit for few days-weeks, strain out flowers = use as massage oil, you (and she) will love it/you, you magically creative creature…
    and easy herb infused liquor the same way, less infusion time and def remember to strain! lavender gin is calling your name

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