When I started my nutrition courses, dandelion greens kept popping up in my reading material. I had never even considered this as a food source. Where would anyone even find dandelion greens, and why are they so great? My local co-op happens to stock them, I finally tried them, and they aren’t too bad!
Here’s the deal, according to my trusty Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. The leafy pieces from a dandelion have crazy low calories and an insanely high nutrient count. They are packed with vitamin C, B6, riboflavin (that’s B2), calcium, copper, iron and more. Dandelion leaves have more vitamin A than carrots! CARROTS, you guys. The taste is a little gritty and bitter. But guess who loves bitter? Your liver! Dandelion greens have been utilized since ancient times for medicinal purposes, specifically for liver and kidney function, digestion, and even scurvy.
Dandelion can be found in teas, coffee (yeah, weird, and I need to try), and straight up leafy greens. I usually mix mine in with other greens like arugula or kale which plays down the bitter taste. They can be eaten raw or cooked, even made into pesto like The Kitchn article mentions, below! Adding this into your rotation is a great way to get more vitamins and minerals into your diet, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Let me know what you think!