Dandelions have a terrible reputation for being the pesky weeds that pop up between sidewalk cracks. Homeowners spray them with weed killer, but they have no idea what those yellow flowers have dozens of health benefits. Dandelions are a known edible; the greens make fantastic additions to salads. There is no reason to kill them. Instead, pick one of these ways to use dandelions.
10 Ways to Use Dandelions
- Dandelion Root Coffee
Yes, dandelion roots can be used to make coffee. Dandelion is a caffeine-free blend that is similar to instant coffee. It tastes and looks very similar to coffee. You can find directions here to make dandelion coffee from the roots right in your front yard. The process can be lengthy, but it is free and healthy. Save this one for your SHTF scenario!
- Dandelion Infused Oil
Dandelions have fantastic health benefits such as offering pain-relieving properties. If you want to tap into that property for your sore muscles and aches, an infused oil is the way to go. Fill a jar with dried dandelion flowers and then cover the flowers with your favorite oil such as almond or olive oil. Let it set in a sunny location for several weeks. Then, strain and use the oil on your skin.
- Dandelion Wine
These flowers make a delicious, sweet wine for cheap. Make sure you only use the petals. You are going to need a lot of flowers, so send your kids out to pick as many as possible. If you use the greens, your wine will turn bitter and gross. The process may take time, but it makes fantastic gifts and a way to build up your homemade wine stash.
- Dandelion Flower Salve
The dandelion infused oil you made before can be used to create a salve. Dandelion salve is excellent for sore muscles, achy joints or chapped skin. If you work with your hands a lot, it is an excellent addition to your medicine cabinet.
- Dandelion Jelly
You can use those pesky weeds to create a unique jelly that your friends and family will love. The flavor will remind you slightly of honey. You do need about ten cups – yes cups – of dandelion blossoms. That means you only want the blossoms and no parts of the stem. Just like for dandelion wine, the stems will infuse a bitter, unpleasant taste. Once you pick the flowers and snip the blossoms, you will end up with about four cups of petals.
- Dandelion Soap
Dandelion soap is a favorite, seasonal choice for soap makers, but you can learn how to make it yourself at home. Honey and dandelions go hand in hand, and it is useful if you have persistent skin issues. Dandelion soap works terrific for eczema and psoriasis.
- Dandelion Blossom Cookies
The kids will be in for a surprise when you tell them that their cookies include dandelion blossoms. Dandelions are edible and offer health benefits, so why not use them in a cookie form? Give this recipe a try and see what you think! Dandelions are free, so it’s worth a try!
- Dandelion Tea
You can make dandelion tea with fresh flowers and leaves. You pack them into a mason jar and pour boiling water over the top. Then, you allow the tea to infuse and cool so you can drink it.
Dandelion tea helps to purify and detoxify the blood. It also can help relieve acne and constipation. Be careful if you have any ulcers or chronic health issues. It does have a laxative and diuretic properties, so you don’t want to drink too much too often.
If you decide to make dandelion soap, you can use dandelion tea in those as well!
- Cook Them Up!
Dandelion leaves can be cooked and added to any dish like spinach. Instead of using spinach in your quiche or scrambled eggs, use the cooked dandelion leaves. Make sure that you select dandelions from your land so that you can be sure they weren’t sprayed with any weed killer.
You can add dandelions to almost any dish that you want! The leaves can be used as a replacement in fresh salads for spinach or other greens. Be creative and try them in as many dishes as you can throughout the spring.
- Dandelion Vinegar
Dandelions are a source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. If you want to extract those minerals, consider making a dandelion vinegar.
All you need is dandelion flowers with their leaves and stems. Fill a mason jar with washed, fresh dandelion blossoms and leaves. Then, pour apple cider vinegar over the top until the jar is full. Cover and let the jar and let it sit for four to six weeks. Once you strain it, you can use the dandelion vinegar immediately.
You can use dandelion vinegar as a hair rinse or on your bug bites. Try adding it to your bath with Epsom salt to help relieve any sore muscles. You also can mix the vinegar with oil and other herbs to create a unique and delicious salad vinaigrette.
Dandelions are a versatile herb, not a pesky weed that overtakes your property. Don’t be like everyone else and kill them off! Instead, use dandelions to your advantage this spring. Make several jars of infused oil and dry the flowers for tea. Dandelions are free and useful; what more can you want?