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Foraging for Edible Greens Right in Your Yard

05 October 2022

Not sure what happened but yesterday at the grocery store they were cleaned out of all leafy greens (spinach, arugula, lettuce, kale, etc.). I’m guessing it was an issue with getting more in stock. If this is also happening in your area…never fear! You probably have lots of edible greens right in your own backyard!

Yep, dandelions! Did you know that the leaves of a dandelion are edible and, if you’re anything like me, you probably have more of those pesky plants than you’d like.

They are very similar to arugula in taste (a little bitter) but even healthier for you. Dandelion greens have more proteins, dietary fiber, vitamin E, food energy, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, and less sugar than arugula. In fact, dandelion greens rank higher than spinach and kale too!

When picking dandelion greens it’s better to choose leaves that are medium in size, a deep green color and on the younger side. These are more tender and less bitter than more established leaves. Using kitchen scissors or garden shears, clip the leaf off near the base of the plant.

Once you have as much as you need, rinse them thoroughly. I’ve been using my fancy new salad spinner to get off the excess water before using or storing (I’ve been wanting this thing for years…why did I wait?!?). I like to store mine in a container with a half sheet of paper towel to keep them from wilting.

You can use them like you use arugula. They are a little bitter for me to eat as an entire salad but my husband doesn’t mind the bitter taste and can eat them this way. I normally mix mine with spinach or lettuce for a salad or add it to burritos or other dishes.

Note: The flowers and roots are edible too! So if you want you can harvest the whole plant. Dandelion wine is a popular way to use the flowers, but I’ve made dandelion flower cookies too.

Now go out there and get yourself some fresh edible greens from your own back yard! :)

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