Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring has SPRUNG!!

Wow! They say time flies when you're having fun. Well, it seems it flies even when you're not having fun. I can't believe it's been 19 days since my last post. My, my, my, where has the time gone?! The good news is, while I've been lost in time, new life has been breaking out all over.

The first signs of spring!

I love spring! It has finally sprung much to the dismay of our homeowners association! They have an aversion to dandeelions and want them eradicated at first sight. I love them and hate to see them succumb to the blade of the lawn mower, so when my darling husband told me he was mowing the lawn, I pleaded for the lives of those precious little greens. He was so sweet! He went out and gathered up a whole bowl for me and put them in the garage fridge.

Today was such a beautiful day that I felt the urge to gather a few more and transform them into a Spring Smoothie!

So what's so special about "dandeelions"! Other than the fact that they're really pretty too look at, check out the article below:

The next time you see a pesky dandelion interfering with the perfection of your lawn, you might want to reconsider your first reaction to spray it with weed killer. That little weed is actually an incredible source of vitamins and other substances that can be greatly beneficial to your health. Many people still don’t realize that the dandelion is even edible, much less are they aware of the amazing benefits this natural herb can have on their health.

Dandelion contains a significant amount of vitamin A and potassium, as well as moderate amounts of vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these substances can be beneficial to your health, but the dandelion also provides a more specific health benefit. Dandelion can actually act as a gentle and natural diuretic that aids in the function of the entire digestive system, including the function of the kidneys, gallbladder, bowels and more. It can aid in treating constipation and water retention.

Dandelion leaves can be eaten directly from the plant, but their bitter taste makes them less than appealing to the average person. It is better to boil the leaves and add them to salads, vegetable dishes, pasta dishes, and various casseroles. You can also purchase dandelion tablets from various herbal stores and online centers.

Always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking in any new supplement. As beneficial as dandelion can be to your health, it is not for everyone. Those with digestive issues such as gallstones and ulcers should take special care with dandelion and should only ingest it under the supervision of their doctor.

There are quite a few benefits associated with dandelion, and many people can benefit from its use. Now that you are more familiar with the advantages of this herb, the next time you spot a dandelion in your lawn, you might find yourself eating it instead of trying to get rid of it.
Copyright 2005 Remedium
Did you know that the eating dandelion flowers satisfies chocolate cravings? Yepper. Apparently they taste exactly like cocoa beans. I'll have to try that and see. I've only eaten the greens in salads or smoothies.
Traute Klein, biogardener, likes to eat a pint of dandelion flowers mixed in a pot of yogurt. Now that's a new one on me.
Dandelions heal and cleanse, but their milky juice also attacks cells which are foreign to the body, thus getting get rid of warts and calluses. Dandelion can be used as an external remedy to remove abnormal skin formations. Trent shares that as an experiment, he started dabbing dandelion juice on a little wart that he had on a finger of his left hand. Every time he picked a lonely flower off a plant, he would dab it on the wart before popping the flower into his mouth. By the time all the plants were asleep under a blanket of snow, he started wondering what had happened to his wart, because it was nowhere to be found. How cool is that?!!
He also tells the story of a friend who was plagued by several painful plantar warts on the bottom of his feet. An herbalist told him to pack his socks full of juicy dandelion plants and walk on them. Trent said he doesn't recall how long it took, but his friend did get rid of the warts.
Eating and drinking dandelions certainly has medicinal benefits. They stimulate the liver and helpt to detoxify the body. But the funniest story I've read so far about dandelions is this one:
Evidently, dandelion stimulates more than just the liver. The word "dandelion" is derived from the French "dent de lion" meaning "tooth of the lion" because of the shape of the leaves. The French, however, prefer a more earthy name for the plant, "pissenlit" which literally means "piss in bed." Obviously, the French people have discovered that the plant is a diuretic, i.e. it stimulates the urinary system. Ha ha ha!!!
More interesting facts about dandelions - how can anyone hate these cute little buggers? They are so misunderstood. : )
Dandelion helps both the liver and gall bladder to break down fat, by stimulating the flow of bile. This helps prevent gallstones. Dandelion also helps the liver with its process of detoxification. This makes it beneficial for diseases such as hepatitis. As well, bile helps normalize the pH (acid-alkaline balance) of the intestinal tract. This aids in maintaining encouraging an abundance of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).Good bile flow also plays a part in preventing (and getting rid of) parasites of all descriptions.Dandelion benefits kidney function, as it has diuretic properties (stimulates the flow of urine), which makes it beneficial for anyone suffering from a urinary infection.

I found the following scrumptious-sounding Dandelion Recipes

Italian Style Dandelion Salad

Large handful tender dandelion greens
1/4 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and pecans
2 sliced radishes
Dressing: just the juice of a lemon wedge, one egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon first cold-pressed olive oil. A generous sprinkling of grated Romano

Dandelion/Beet/Pumpkin Seed Salad
Prepare dressing first. To keep salad ingredients from oxidizing once they are chopped or grated, you are going to want to put dressing on right away.
*1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar / or juice of 2 slices lemon
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/4 teaspoon fine ground Celtic seasalt
* 1 - 2 Tablespoons first cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 clove garlic crushed, chopped or grated
* 1 egg yolk from organic free-range eggs (I feed the white and part of yolk to my dog)
* Pinch of cayenne or black pepper

Mix well and pour over:
Salad Vegetables
Large handful washed, chopped dandelion greens
1/8 - 1/4 med. size Vidalia, Red, or Sweet Yellow Onion sliced
1 med carrot coarse grated
1/2 cup coarse grated beets
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup currants

Dandelion/Arugula/Leaf Lettuce Salad
Salad Vegetables
* 2 cups dandelion leaves chopped
* 2 cups arrugula cut into bite-sized pieces
* 3 cups leaf lettuce torn
* 3 medium size radishes, sliced

* 2 marigold flowers (save one for garnish, slice base off the other, and mix with salad). Marigold flowers are a great source of lutein, and in fact many lutein supplements are made from marigolds.

Very quick and simple:
* Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon Celtic fine-ground seasalt over vegetables and toss
* Sprinkle 2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar in and toss
* 2 Tablespoons first cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil and toss again
* Add black pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup grated Peccorino Romano raw sheep milk cheese - reserve 1 T for top, and mix the rest into salad

Dandelion Smoothie Delight (slightly bitter)
1 cup packed, chopped dandelion leaves2 cups packed spinach1 handful chopped parlsey½ cup chopped fresh pineappleI handful raw almonds2 Mangoes ¼ cup filtered water (if needed)
Tip to make this green drink less bitter: soak dandelion leaves in cold, filtered water.
makes approx. 20 oz ·

Dandelion Flower Tea Recipe
Here is a simple and easy dandelion recipe to make dandelion flower tea, another form of dandelion tea.
· All you have to do is chop a handful of flower tops of the dandelion herb; remember not to include the green parts.
· Steep them in a cup of water for about 15-20 minutes.
· Add a little sweetener of your choice and your cup of dandelion tea is ready.
One of the key benefits of dandelion tea is that it has a great detoxification effect on the liver.

Dandelion Salad Recipe

Here is a simple dandelion recipe which you can add to your meals to obtain the health benefits of dandelion.
· ½ lbs tender dandelion greens
· ½ onion
· 2 tomatoes
· ½ bell pepper
· salt and pepper to taste

Happy Dandelion Hunting!

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