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« kdy: 28. Duben, 2011, 11:16:19 »

The dandelion is one of the best known plants on earth. This little plant grows in areas where the natural system of balance has been disturbed.  It's heartiness has made it, unfortunately, one of the ten most "noxious" weeds.  Today, people tend to fight dandelion instead of realizing that it grows to help restore conditions necessary for a diverse community of organisms and that it has numerous healing properties for people.
   Dandelion greens are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Potassium.  Basically, the dandelion helps to restore internal balance in several ways. It works as a blood and liver tonic and cleanser by unblocking fat congestion and mucus build-up. The dandelion stimulates the gall bladder and liver, thus increasing bile production and distribution. Being a diuretic that increases secretion and expulsion of urine, the dandelion helps the kidneys to function effectively. Dandelions also neutralize acids which aid stomach action.
   The most common use of dandelion greens is in a salad. Young leaves are the mildest and most tender. A common problem is collecting leaves when they are too old, tough and bitter. This can be disappointing to a beginning wild foods harvester, especially if the greens are just steamed or boiled plain. When the greens are harsh, they can be boiled, the water discarded, then reheated.  Also, simmering them with 1/2 teaspoon miso and 1 cup of water will help to get rid of the bitterness.  The leaves can be frozen or dried.
   Dandelion roots are also edible. They are best as a vegetable in early spring before the tops appear. As the top sprouts, the plant's maximum nutrition and potency is going into new growth. By eating roots and tops, the plant's full strength is obtained. Remember to chew thoroughly. Fresh roots can be added to salads, soups, sauteed vegetables dishes, casseroles, pressure cooked grains or beans. Roots can be harvested all year long to be dried and /or roasted to make a delicious tea. Drying the roots takes away much of their bitterness and makes them taste sweeter.
  ********************                Recipes             ************************
Ingredients                                                                       Equipment
6 dandelion roots                                                              vegetable brush
                                                                                          cookie sheet
                                                                                          blender or coffee grinder
Scrub the roots clean; then place on a cookie sheet (stainless steel) in a  250 -300 degrees F oven for about 4 hours. When thoroughly dry, the roots should be dark brown in the center when you snap them in two. Store in an airtight dark glass jar. To make tea, grind the roots as finely as possible in a blender or coffee grinder. Mix one teaspoon of ground root with a cup of boiling water for each serving Let it steep for ten to fifteen minutes, then strain.  Also, one can simmer the roots in water for twenty minutes to get a stronger taste and medicinal effect.
Ingredients                                                                        Equipment
fresh dandelion roots                                                        vegetable brush
                                                                                          cookie sheet(s)
Scrub the roots clean, thinly slice on the diagonal and place on cookie sheet in a 150 degree F oven till golden and completely dry. Stirring a couple of times during the drying period will help to dry the roots out evenly.
Ingredients                                                                       Equipment
1/3 cup dried dandelion roots slices                                 2 quart covered glass saucepan
1 quart water                                                                   Iron or enamel covered skillet with cover
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks (diagonal)                Wooden spatula or spoon
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (organic)                         
4 teaspoons tamari
Place root slices and water into saucepan. Bring to a boil and cover immediately. Turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes. Strain and save the roots from the tea. Tea can be drunk right then hot or put into a glass bottle and refrigerated for use up to three days. If desired, dilute tea to desired strength.
Heat one tablespoon oil in skillet. Add rehydrated roots from above, then saute 5 minutes over medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon oil and carrots and saute another 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, lower heat, cover and simmer until tender or water is almost gone. Stir in tamari and simmer a couple a minutes more. YUM!
Ingredients                                                                             Equipment
1 cup beans (aduki or garbanzo) that have be sorted,       pressure cooker
  rinsed, soaked and sprouted (1-2 days)                                         knife
3 cups water                                                                          vegetable scrub brush
1/4 cup dandelion, scrubbed, sliced into 1/4 inch diagonal    strainer and bowl for soaking and rinsing
1/2 inch piece kombu
Add rinsed sprouted beans, kombu and water to pressure cooker. Bring to a boil and cook ten minutes uncovered. Skim off any foam. Add roots, put on lid and let come under pressure. Pressure cook for 1 hour. Take off heat and allow to naturally come out of pressure. If desired, add a dash of tamari or sea salt and simmer 15 minutes. This can be eaten as is or can be used in a casserole recipe or used as a base for a bean soup.
Ingredients                                                                             Equipment
1/2 # dandelion greens (use only                                          2 mixing bowls
   young and  tender leaves)                                                 10 inch heavy saute pan
4 oz. tempeh, crumbled and sauteed                                    Wooden spoon or spatula
   until crisp and golden (optional)
1/8 - 1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (Eden brand made
   with apple cider vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vinegar ( umeboshi / apple cider)
1/4 cup toasted sunflower kernels
1/2 # tofu and  1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
Wash dandelion greens thoroughly by soaking in lukewarm water. Trim off any tough stems and dry well. Mix together oil, juice,mustard, vinegar and salt. Toss in dandelion leaves . Set aside. Squeeze out excess water of tofu by hand. Place dry, crumbly tofu into saucepan with 1 tablespoon oil. Saute till browned. Add vinegar and greens with dressing. Stir one minute, then add crispy tempeh and toasted sunflower kernels. Serves 2- 4.
                                          REFERENCE BOOKS
Hogg, Deborah L.   "Exploring Nature's Uncultivated Garden"   Rainbow Montage, 1987
Knap, Alyson Hart.  "Wilderness Harvest"   Pagurian Press Limited 1979
Medsger, Oliver Perry.  "Edible Wild Plants"  Macmillan Publishing 1966
Pringle, Laurence   "Wild Foods"  Four Winds Press 1978
Runyon, Linda      "Lawn Food"  and  "Survival Acre"  Runyon Institute, Inc. 1985
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