by erin stewart -1830

7 Things to Make with Dandelion Flower Heads

Would you believe that, when we lived in southern California, I rarely saw a Dandelion? We lived in such a pesticide-laden area that whenever we did see a Dandelion, we would cheer it on and congratulate it for blooming. Our area was so manicured that “weeds” were a rare sight. Many communities are now seeing the incredible value offered to us by the Dandelion and are encouraging people to let them grow, which is great because they tend to grow where they are most needed. I’m hoping this mindset keeps spreading because we still have a long way to go to improve our collective mindset toward this plant (and others that are considered weeds). Dandelions are helpful for us in many ways, but they are also a very important first food for the bees and we all need to be doing our part to help our bees. So, I challenge you to let your Dandelions grow.

Did you know?
In some other countries, Dandelions are purposely planted in
protected areas of the garden
because they are so valued!

Every part of the Dandelion plant is edible and useful for medicine. The roots and leaves are used as digestive bitters to help stimulate digestive enzymes and improve digestion. They are both mineral rich and the roots also contain inulin, an important prebiotic substance that helps feed our beneficial gut flora. The leaves are diuretic. The flower heads are also rich in vitamins and have been used as an analgesic (pain reliever) and, overall, the plant has been traditionally used for all kinds of skin and digestive system complaints. Today we’re going to focus on the flowers.

Note: When you’re harvesting Dandelions, make sure you’re harvesting them from a clean area where they haven’t been sprayed.

7 Things to Make with Dandelion Flower heads

Infused Carrier Oil and salves, creams, etc.

Allow the flower heads to wilt in a shady area for at least a couple of hours (up to a day or two) before infusing to allow some of the moisture to evaporate from the flowers. Fill 2/3 of a jar with the flower heads, then pour your carrier oil of choice over them until they’re covered by about an inch or so of oil. Allow the oil to infuse for 4-6 weeks, then strain out the flowers heads. This infused carrier oil can be incorporated into massage oils and other oil-based blends (salves, creams, balms, etc.) for skin complaints/inflammation and pain.

Infused Vinegar

Dandelion vinegar is wonderful in homemade vinaigrette recipes. You can also infuse it in raw apple cider vinegar and use it alone as a drinking vinegar, in herbal shrubs, or as a mild, pre-dinner digestive stimulant.  Give it a try!

Dandelion fritters

Dandelion flowers can be coated in batter and skillet-fried or baked to make tasty little fritters! They’re crispy and yummy and oh so good.

Dandelion jelly

Spread it on some sourdough toast with some dried Dandelion petals (florets) for a flavorful treat.

Dandelion syrup

Dandelion flower syrup makes a tasty addition to your breakfast pastry or pancakes and can also be used to flavor drinks and drizzled on shortbread cookies.

Dandelion cookies / pancakes

The petals of the flowers can be added to your baking mix when you’re making cookies or pancakes. They’ll contribute a bit of color to the recipe and can also be used to decorate the tops!

Dandelion biscuit butter

Use a butter spreader to fold Dandelion flower petals (florets) into some room temperature butter, then stir in just a bit of raw honey. Store the butter in the fridge and use it on your biscuits!

Do you have a favorite Dandelion recipe? Tell me about it in the comments section below!

Much love,
Erin

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bio-photo-18

Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

Want to learn more about herbalism and aromatherapy?

AromaCulture Magazine is filled with educational articles, case studies and recipes written by practicing herbalists and certified aromatherapists. New issues are published each month and issues are available individually or via subscription. Visit www.aromaculture.com for more information.

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9 thoughts on “7 Things to Make with Dandelion Flower Heads”

  1. My family LOVES dandelion fritters. It’s still COLD here, but when those happy little flowers pop up, mmm-mmm–good eating ahead!

  2. How to keep dandelion flower heads from turning dark… I have a huge amount in yard and want to make the things you suggest… I tried several years ago, but before I could get them into jars, they had turned & weren’t very pretty… Drying? I just want help 🙂

    1. Erin Stewart

      I haven’t had any problems with them turning dark, but I harvest using a flat, wide-based basket so they can be in a single layer out of direct sun (use a tea towel over them if needed) and I try to process them right away. I often remove the petals before drying because they dry a lot quicker and more evenly when I do that. You can always dry the flower head centers separately if you’re wanting to use them as well. Lots of air circulation when drying is important.

  3. I made dandelion wine a few years ago. The article said to make it before the summer solstice and open your first bottle to celebrate in the winter solstice. I added warming spices, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and oranges to the brew…so very yummy in the winter!

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