Spring is in the air and everyone in Lockdown is gardening. The bluebells are pretty and the salad corner looks promising but those dandelions will have to go! STOP- don’t throw them away. They may be a weed, but they’re a weed with tons of great uses. Here’s a list of 10 things to do with dandelions.
The bright yellow flower, that’s actually a member of the daisy family, is known as many other names- some rather amusing :)-
- swine’s snout
- priest’s crown
- lion’s tooth (relating to the leaves)
- milk witch
- piss-in-bed (due to the fact that it is a diuretic)
- wild endive
Things to do with Dandelion Flowers
Collect 3-4 large handfuls of fully blooming dandelion flowers and place them in a jar. Do not wash the flowers, but do check that all the creepy crawlies are out. Cover with a pint of raw honey and then stir gently to make sure that any air bubbles rise to the top. Screw on a tight lid and place in a dark spot for 2 weeks. Use as normal honey, and taste how super sweet the dandelions make it.
All you need to do is search for dandelion buds. Add to them, vinegar, water and salt to make a brine and pickle them for as long as you want.
Dandelion Ice cream
When making your favourite homemade ice cream just add one cup of dandelion petals to the mixture. Play around with flavour combinations to find the one that you like best.
Dandelion Infused Oil
This is the base for soaps, shampoo bars and bath bombs. Here is an easy to follow recipe from thenerdyfarmer.
Dandelion Bath Bombs
You’ll be glad you made your dandelion infused oil because you will need that, along with these ingredients to make your fizzy scented bombs. Whisk the baking soda, citric acid, salt, and matcha together. In a separate bowl mix the birch, dandelion infused oils and essential oil. Add oil mix to the baking soda mix and remove the lumps. Squeeze togther to form clumps and place into moulds. Remove after 15 minutes and allow to air dry for 24-48 hours before sealing in airtight containers.
This wine can be made using the entire flower or just the yellow petals, which makes the wine less bitter. There are many variations on the recipe but here’s a low cost, simple one using dandelion flowers, raisins, orange, lemon, demerara sugar and yeast. This wine will be ready in about 6 months but is much better if left for a year after bottling.
This particular method uses no palm oil, which we really like due to the unsustainable and environmental issues surrounding it. You need to make dandelion tea before you can make the soap. Here’s a really easy to follow recipe for both from three hills soap
Fancy something a little more exciting to go on your toast of a morning. Why not try dandelion jam. Using only the petals, here’s a really easy recipe to follow.
Things to do with Dandelion Leaves & Roots
This natural remedy isn’t just great for coughs and sore throats. This dandelion tincture can be beneficial to the whole body as a tonic.
The leaves can also be made into a nutritious tea. Use about two tablespoons of chopped fresh leaves or one teaspoon of dried leaves in one cup of hot water.
So whilst out on your daily walk, why not take a basket and collect dandelions to make wine, soap or healing tincture.