|Dandelion Flower Fritters & Dandelion Petal Pancakes|
Earth Day is on April 22. I was wondering what might be a good food to cook with in honor of the day that celebrates our planet & helps to educates all of us on how we can become better stewards of this ~ third rock from the sun ~ that we call home. What would be a good sustainable food source to tap into, something abundant on planet earth? Hmm, something close to home, leaving as little carbon footprint as possible...
As I was thinking about what to cook, I was looking out at the backyard & I noticed it needed mowing...and boy, I really needed to get back there & pick those dandelion flowers before they went to seed.... (you see where I'm going with this, right?) Mother Nature was not being subtle ~ she was screaming out for me to come outside & shop from her own, free 'farmers market'. Can't get a smaller carbon footprint than that!
OK, OK, I get it. I'll be right out! Who am I to turn down a free meal when it is set right before me? Out I went, with scissors in hand, to harvest the generous spring bounty...
|Dandelions hiding in my strawberry bed...|
(I found this wonderful site ~ Money Crashers ~ that was really helpful when cooking my dandelion booty, both for ideas & recipes)
|Almost ready to fly free...|
|This is a lawn down the street from me ~ I swear it's not my yard!|
So, here are the dishes I cooked with the dandelions I harvested ~ (( The one IMPORTANT!! thing to remember when cooking/eating dandelions is to make sure they are from an untreated source, they must never have been in contact with any weed killers! ))
|Dandelion Fritters are my new favorite food of spring...|
To make the Dandelion Fritters:
|Eagle Mills Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix ~ I LOVE THIS STUFF!! It is very similar in makeup to Heart Healthy Bisquick & is only about $1 a box! Cheap & cheerful at its best!|
Dandelion Petal Pancakes
|Dandelion Petal Pancakes|
Boiled Dandelion Greens ~ with Bacon & Walnuts
|I followed the directions for boiled dandelion greens & then added some olive oil, bacon bits, walnuts & salt/pepper/onion powder. It was good, but a bit bitter, so I added some honey, too. I ate this as a side dish & also used some as part of the filling for my Dandelion Crepes.|
I made both boiled dandelion greens (using the larger, older leaves) & sauteed dandelion greens (using the smaller, younger leaves) and hands down preferred the boiled to the sauteed. I found the sauteed greens to be more bitter & tougher to eat, even though they were younger & supposedly more tender. It's boiled greens only from now on. Forage, cook, eat & learn.
Dandelion Crepes ~ petals in the crepe, greens in the filling
To make the Dandelion Crepes:
I thinned out some of the Dandelion Petal Pancake batter so I could cook it as a crepe. I then filled the cooked crepe with some of the Boiled Dandelion Greens & some cottage cheese. A quick pop into the microwave to melt the cottage cheese & a drizzle of Green Jalapeno Tabasco over the top...and lunch was served. It was very tasty. Who knew weeds could become so upscale & taste this good?!
Garden Salad with Dandelion Greens
|Wash the greens really well...|
The simplest way to eat dandelion greens is to add some young, tender leaves to your salad. It's a bitter green, so a little goes a long way. Treat it just like you would any other bitter leaf lettuce. Make sure you give the leaves a good wash before adding them to the salad. (you could add some dandelion petals for color, too, if you are so inclined) Then just toss the mixed greens with your favorite salad dressing & serve.
I must say, working on this post has given me a whole new appreciation of dandelions & of all the ways you can enjoy eating them. Now, I'm not about to go so far as to dig up dandelion roots & roast them for a cup of tea, but I will buy a box of dandelion tea next time I go to the shops. Why? Just because ~ I figure I might as well try tasting it that way, too. Hope you try one of the recipes. If you only try one, I suggest the Dandelion Fritters. Enjoy!