Dandelion Greens

dandelion greens guy

Dandelion greens are the most nutritious leafy vegetable that you can buy (see chart below). Foraged greens are the first spring vegetable, they come on even earlier than asparagus, and they make a great spring tonic. But do enjoy them year round as a kitchen remedy and tasty green. Reflect on how their resilience hints of their prowess: no matter how many tons of chemicals are dumped onto suburban lawns to kill them, dandelions reign.

Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat viruses, jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne. Recent studies indicate that their root combats cancer. This sunflower relative boasts potent medicinal properties with laxative and diuretic properties (its French name, pissenlit, wet the bed, aptly names its effectiveness). More of their–and other foods’–medicinal properties, are listed in The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.

Cultivated dandelion greens from the store are less bitter than the wild ones, but in both cases nibble on a leaf to ascertain it’s bitterness and gage how much to include in your dish. Today many markets carry dandelion greens. If your favorite market does not, be proactive; ask the produce manager to carry them; or find a market that does.

Better yet, forage them yourself. How I love foraging. In addition to the anticipation of the upcoming feast, there’s the thrill of the find, the pleasure of piling a basket with freely given gifts and a feeling of inter-relatedness that being outdoors engenders. And here’s the best part, foraging enables you to also harvest the dandelion heart or crown a delicacy that you won’t find at the greengrocers.
dandelionGreensBeth Brush away the protective blanket of last year’s foliage and a scant layer of soil to expose dandelion crowns. Bypass leaves from plants that have gone to flower. Here’s why: as the energy moves up to the blossom, the greens becomes quite bitter and would require several blanching baths to be toothsome. The flowers, however, may be used to make wine or Honey-Preserved Blossom Spread. Please note: do not gather dandelions from public trails, roadsides or any chemically-tainted area including treated lawns.

Back home with the goods, I pick over my haul and discard extraneous grasses. Strip the stems from the larger leaves and add to a salad. Or sauté with an onion and garlic and season with a pinch of sea salt and few grinds of fresh pepper. Or use in any cooked dish as you would bok choy or kale. Here’s a recipe for Roasted Daikon and Dandelion Green Soup.

The bittersweet root is typically used as a coffee substitute and in herbal tonics. In ten minutes foraging, I gathered a nice mess of greens—and I left plenty for you.

Maximize the use of herbal remedies, like dandelion, to realize your desired health goals with a supportive diet that addresses your specific needs.  My Diet Consultation and Face Reading Reports provide this.

1 cup raw Vit. A
Daily Value
Vit. K
Daily Value
Daily Value
Daily Value
Dandelion Greens 2712 IU
151 mcg
103 mg
1.7 mg
Broccoli 581 IU
89.4 mcg
41.4 mg
0.6 mg

May you be well nourished,

Rebecca Wood

45 Responses to Dandelion Greens

  1. I buy my dandelions at Smith’s in Vegas. Kroger-owned stores carry the greens. Love mixing dandelions, mustard greens and turnip greens, one bunch each and don’t forget the Knorr Homestyle Stock chicken, throw one in pot when cooking. Delicious!

  2. I do remember eating “chicory salad” as a kid, and not liking it a lot due to the dandelion leaves bitter taste. My parents most often used boiled potatos, some onion, some dandelion leaves and vinegar to make a yellow-and-green salad (think potato salad with some added leaves).

    My father always explained that it is very healthy, and that shortly after WW 2 it was very often an important staple in Europe to get healthy food.

  3. You can also eat the flower . We use to love these as kids soak in saltwater then dreg in milk and egg mixture , flour , fry and enjoy

  4. I grew up in Iowa eating dandelion greens. Mother would gather them out of the yard before they would flower. After cleaning she would wilt the greens with vinegar, water and bacon similar to wilted lettuce. At meal time we would mix the greens with boiled potatoes and bacon drippings on our plate. If you try I guarantee you will like.

  5. Yes funny indeed.
    I was just at my local Health Food Store picking up Kale and saw them. I said to myself, HMMM I could just pick these out of my lawn?

    It makes soo much sense, they must be good when they are soo hard to kill. I will never think of them as a weed again!

  6. Over seas we chop them up finely and mix with yogurt (and salt to season) and just let it all mellow together for 1-2 days. Then, when the bitterness is gone, we put it all in a staining cloth for an additional 2-3 days till it’s thick! Spread over fresh bread and enjoy! So yummy! Of course, eating this way means it will no longer be a good source of iron.

    • This sounds delicious! But why do you say it is “no longer a good source of iron.” Fermenting doesn’t diminish mineral content.

  7. I just bought a bundle of dandelion greens. They have an intensely strong bitter after taste. I ate a salad of them because I am unwell and was craving them, but I’m afraid to use them in my soup along with my bok choy. I wonder if they’re selling post-flowering leaves?

    How should I use this batch?

    • What will most significantly help your fibroids is adjusting your diet and lifestyle to correct the root cause. Dandelions may be a part of the cure if your diet is right for your specific condition. For help, consider my ebooks or a consultation.

    • Excellent question. The more latex (milky liquid) that exudes from a just cut wild dandelion (or other chicory relative like lettuce) the more bitter is that vegetable. A tender, young lettuce plant has little latex but as it ages (and becomes more bitter) it develops more. Wild dandelions are bitter and “milky.” Much of the bitterness has been bread out of commercial dandelions.
      Also it seems that refrigeration turns the latex translucent.

  8. Hello

    I find it surprising that Dandelion that I lawn out of my garden all the time, its now good healthy food for me to eat. Life is very funny.

    I have being doing research on Dandelion for some time now and I find out that dandelion is good for fibroid because it reduce oestrogen and shrink fibroid. I do have dandelion in my garden between March and May and I am going to pull out a lot next year.

    I have hear that dandelion can be taken as a tea 3 time a day for 3 months in order to shrink fibroid but What I wanted to know now is that how many can I consume in a day after plucking dandelions in my garden.

    Is it between 4 to 6 dandelions (leaves and root as one)per cup of tea or more.

    Please advice


    • Before using any herb for a prolonged period of time, check a reputable herb book regarding recommended dosage.

      Even more effective than using dandelions to shrink fibroids is to determine what in your diet and lifestyle is causing them and then by eliminate the root cause, fibroids are resolved. To accomplish consider my ebook Clean and Free, Read Your Face and/or a Diet Consultation with me.

  9. I read all this about dandelion leaves and buds. I pulled some leaves yesterday and washed very well. I just added them to my salad and they were very good. I have alot of health issues so hoping these may help. Thanks

    • I doubt it. ANd why would you want to purchase frozen veggies? Freezing drains them of their chi and subtle flavors and degrades their texture.

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  12. Pregnancy and postpartum support (leaves and root) In folk medicine, Dandelion is also used as a treatment for hemorrhoids, gout, rheumatism, eczema, other skin conditions, and diabetes. Its effectiveness for these problems has not, however, been verified.

  13. Rebecca, As a child I remember my mother picking dandelion
    greens and cooking them into a nasty pulp. But now that I’m
    an adult, I love steaming different greens. My question is,
    can I use dandelion greens with other vegs in my blender to
    use as my health drink and secondly, can I freeze these greens for winter to use in blender for my drink. Thank you.

    • Yes, you can blend dandelion greens, but taste them first and add accordingly as some are quite bitter.

      Yes, you can freeze them, but why? Once any veggie is frozen it flavor and energetic properties are compromised. For myself, I enjoy the greens in season. Then I go without and when the next season rolls around, it’s a fresh delight!

  14. Rebecca, thanks so much…I know these greens are good for my 0 blood type and your info and the posted recipes are quite helpful…Keep up the good work!!! Grazie mille!!!

  15. thanks for the insightful article. I’ve been eating the little french Lion (dandylion) for years from my non-sprayed yard. For winter use, I collect them thru the spring and summer, and dry extra ones on my dehydrator trays, and store in glass jars. Then I crush the leaves and put them in stews, as added nutrients. and thanks for the new recipees on your page. Good….. yummmm.

  16. I use finely chopped washed and dandelion greens on
    our veggie tacos fine sliced onion big pinch of cheese
    in soft fried corn tortillas with 2 teaspoons tomato sauce
    PS (I can’t take the GMO tomatoes in winter.

    James Camp

  17. Hello,

    I’ve heard about dandelions being edible and tasted dandelion wine years ago (Not bad, btw). I had no idea that it’s better for you than brocolli!

    So in addition to wanting to eat more healthy foods, I have a ton of dandelions in my yard. My front yard has not been chemically treated. I thought about it though, because we have such a problem with gophers, (& something attracts them.)

    Anyhow, here are my questions:

    What parts of the dandelion are edible? Is the “crown” the yellow flower? Are we to avoid the leaves of a dandelion that has already flowered, b/c of taste? Also, some of the leaves seem pricklier than others. Once the dandelion has gotten to the stage where we can blow it into the wind, is there anything we should not eat then?

    Are we to aim for the tiny leaves, or do we simply prepare the bigger leaves differently?
    What are the best parts?

    Finally, are there any weeds that grow next to, or along with, dandelions that can get mixed in? Are those bad for us?

    It seems to me that my dandelions are not identical looking. Maybe it’s because they are in different stages. The leaves vary a lot.


    Any thoughts or answers are appreciated!

  18. Thanks so much! I was just out in my yard and intuitively decided to gather some. They’re in the frig as we speak. I wasn’t sure quite how to do them. Now I am. I’ll likely have some tomorrow. I’ll try the crowns too. (I also love lambsquarters. Do you? They’re a great spring greens treat.

  19. Love your site…so nice to see that people still eat and forage the way I was raised. My elderly parents still garden organically, and still eat dandelions, pigweed, (don’t know any other name for it), and redroot. They also raise various plants for teas, as my grandmother did, and just recently stopped making their own maple syrup, butter and cheeses. So many people think it is unusual to come from a background like this, I truly wish that it was more common.
    Thank you again for your common sense approach to eating well, and enjoying the gifts that God blessed us with.

    • Whole Foods sells them. Many health food stores also sell them. They are delicious in a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, craisins, feta cheese, and sliced almonds. Yum!!

    • I buy dandelion greens at my farmer’s market, as well as the local health food store. My favorite veggie! If your farmer isn’t growing them, just ask; I bet s/he will.

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