Written April 2016
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is used medicinally and as an edible. The whole plant has value. Dandelion is very nutritious, having more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables. The young leaves are less bitter in early spring and make a delicious addition to a salad. The flowers are eaten raw in salads or steeped as a tea. The dried roots make a delicious substitute for coffee.
There are many recipes to be found on the many ways to use dandelion flowers. Here I make an elixir. A sweet flavored concoction that is imbued with the energy of the sun. This is one of my favorite ways to use dandelion flowers.
Dandelion flowers contain many of the same benefits as the whole plant but in a milder dose and much sweeter I might add. The roots contain a large percentage of the nutrition and make a great fall activity of harvesting the various roots such as burdock, yellow dock, and nettle. These can be dried and added to soups or tinctured individually or together. I like to tincture together to harness the synergy of the roots combined.
Since dandelions grow abundantly wild here at Cheshire Fields I have no problems harvesting enough. If you don’t have time to make anything else out of dandelions, I highly encourage you to try this one. Only takes a small amount of your time. Make sure any herbs you wild forage for is away from roads and in areas that are not sprayed with chemicals.
2 Cups Slightly packed Dandelion Flowers
12oz Raw Honey
1 Quart Ball Jar
Pick flowers after the dew has dried. You can either cut the green off with scissors or pinch between fingers and squish, the flowers push up and I just pull from the green part. Some green won’t hurt so don’t worry if you get some in your mix. I add these to the jar and gently tap the jar until it reaches the 2 cup mark on the side of the jar. Next cover the flowers with brandy. Top with honey. I didn’t bother stirring at this point as the honey is very thick (I used buckwheat honey). Set in a warm place for 24 hours. I set mine on top of the hot water heater. After 24 hours I checked to see if the honey has warmed. I found the honey had settled to the bottom of the jar. No worries. You may need to add more brandy if the dandelions are poking above. It should be warmed enough from the hot water heater, just shake the jar a bit. Not all of it mixed. I left it for another 24 hours to continue infusing on top of the hot water heater. After day two of shaking, all the honey fully incorporated into mixture. Leave it to infuse for 2-3 weeks shaking it daily or when you think about it. After steeping for set amount of time, strain, rebottle, label, and date it.
Enjoy as a nightcap or make into a sparkling drink with mineral water. Really it’s like sunshine in a bottle!
Disclaimer: Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This recipe is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Personally, I make these home remedies that I have researched and used myself. I encourage you to empower yourself with your own health and do your own research.