Guest post by Natalie-Marie – check out her site here.
There is something about foraging that I find intoxicating.
Maybe it’s the thrill of being in nature, or maybe it’s the fact that all my fresh stash is for free – who knows, but I’m hooked. My obsession started last year, whilst in a forest near home. I could have sworn the green leaves were shouting to get my attention, dancing in the wind saying ‘look this way’. I did as any normal person does these days and googled the benefits of dandelions. Wow! Are you kidding me, so much nutrition and it grows so abundantly, why on earth are we not tapping into this?
Could it be the very name we give them puts us off – weeds? It really made me stop and contemplate what the word weed meant. Most people find weeds a pest because they’ll grow anywhere and it’s tough to get rid of. Again wow! How had I missed the point with this, these beautiful plants could adapt to any situation. They’re not going anywhere fast and they’re full to the brim of vital nutrients. They had me sold, it was time to live more like a weed.
Benefits of Dandelion Greens:
Digestion – acts as a mild laxative. Promotes digestion. Stimulates appetite. Balances the natural and beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Kidney – Diuretic helps clear out kidneys. Inhibits microbial growth in the uni are system.
Liver – Shown to improve liver function. Removes toxin and re-establishes hydration and electrolyte balance.
Antioxidant – Every part of the dandelion plant is rich in antioxidant that prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA slowing down the ageing process of cells.
I mean really can you believe it, all this time you never knew the amazing properties of this wonderful weed. There are so many nutritious plants just waiting to be foraged!
Some useful tips for foraging;
1. Forage away from roads due to traffic pollution.
2. Always wash your goodies before you use them.
3. Make sure you know exactly what you are picking. There are plenty of poisonous plants too. Pick up a book to identify them.
What to do with your dandelion greens after picking:
1. Wash your dandelions thoroughly and pat them dry.
2. Leave them to dry in the sun or if dehydrate them if you have a dehydrator, or on the lowest heat in your oven.
3. Take your crispy dandelions and crush them up in a jar.
4. Viola! Your own homemade tea. I like to mix it with fresh dried nettles too.