Top Forest Edibles: Dandelions

Photo By Martin Bacovsky

Did you know that dandelions are edible? Well, they are. In fact, these little greens are quite nutritious. In addition, dandelions are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In some parts of the world, dandelions are even considered a delicacy. They are an ancient food and have been a part of many different cultures' traditional cuisines since pre-history.

Dandelions can be found on six continents, but those typically cultivated for consumption are usually native to North America and Eurasia. As perennial plants, they regrow their leaves if their taproot remains intact. You can blanch these leaves to remove bitterness and make them more palatable.

Photo By Marek Levak

There are many health benefits of dandelion greens. Some of the most common include regulating blood sugar, improving digestion, improving eye health, reducing risk of macular degeneration, reducing risk of various cancers, and more. These health benefits of dandelions have been known for centuries, but they’ve only recently become a “trend” thanks to the popularity of functional foods and superfoods.

If you’re interested in trying out dandelions as a new food, you should know that they’re super easy to grow at home. In fact, growing your own dandelions is a great way to get more greens into your diet! All you need to do is find some in your area and pick some leaves!