Dandelions; It’s What’s For dinner!

When I was a kid picking the weeds and dealing with the back yard was the worst job ever. It was almost as bad as cleaning my hoarder fathers garage. All of us kids hated the dandelions because my dad taught us to hate them. These sunshine yellow bastards blew their seeds all across the yard and spread like humping bunnies from one side of our four acre property to the next. I spent so many childhood days, no not playing with friends, but bending over in the hot mountain sunshine and spending hours pulling weeds.

As I grew older I grew to hate dandelions and even their sunny happy yellow blossoms.Image result for dandelions

As I became an adult I had a house payment, a home, a mortgage of my own and a neighbor who never, ever, ever weeded her yard. I could just see those dandelions blowing in the winds and I knew the seeds from her neglected yard would fill my backyard at any moment. It was 2012 and I still hated dandelions.

In 2015 I started hiking and camping a lot more and also started eating way healthier and more organically then I ever had in the past. I sold my home and left the dandelion queens neighborhood for good.

Then I discover that dandelions are not actually the enemy! Who knew you could make coffee from their roots? I love coffee! Who knew you could turn them into a iron and calcium enriched salad? I love salad!

Foraging for your own wild foods is not only fun but can lead you to some healthy and yes organic new food choices. In the mountain communities where I live, hike, and mountain bike I constantly find healthy trailside snacks like pine nuts, elderberries, gooseberries and blackberries. Not to mention wild onions and juniper berries grow every where. In the green and yellow hills of southern California, wild mustard grows every where in the spring time. Literally every freeway has hills of yellow flowers growing on its flanks. Yup, this is all wild mustard; Our official state weed. Why do people even bother buying this spice on the shelves of the local grocer?

Apple Cider Dandelions with Pine Nuts and Mustard

Delicious dandelion greens

Dandelions do tend to be a bit bitter so I recommend when cooking them adding a touch of apple cider vinegar to soften that bitter taste. My favorite wilted dandelion salad is pretty simple; Just the greens, ghee, smashed garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds and pine nuts all sautted up together. It’s a super easy and fast side dish made with a veggie you can weed right out of your garden.

Weeding and preparing dinner all at the same time? Multitasking!

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