Plants from the backyard are often overlooked as a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Dandelion Greens are one of the most vitamin-packed foods available with more fibre, protein, potassium and calcium than any other green. The Dandelion is particularly good for the liver and stimulates the liver to eliminate harmful toxins. They are very cleansing and not only support the digestive system they also help reduce inflammation and swelling in the body.

Dandelion leaves are 85% water and are packed with calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamins such as vitamin K for strong bones and teeth, vitamin A for eye and skin health, vitamin C which is a strong antioxidant and vitamin E which supports the immune function, prevent inflammation , promote eye health, and lower the risk of disease.

Dandelion greens can be found at most health food stores and in your backyard or community garden. The leaves can be dried and used as a medicinal tea or added to soups, salads, green juices, or smoothies. The yellow flower is also edible and packed with nutrients.

For information and ideas on how to use Dandelions watch the Clean and Delicious YouTube video Dandelion Greens 101

Lauren Robertson also offers 21 Surprisingly Tasty Dandelion Recipes Straight From Your Back Garden on her frugal living website Morning Chores. Dandelion Salad with Goats Cheese and Tomato Dressing sounds particularly delicious. If picked from the garden be sure your Dandelions are pesticide free and washed before using.

Here is a simple Dandelion & Tomato Salad to get you started:
1/2 pound torn dandelion greens
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper

Mix together the dandelion greens, red onion, and tomatoes. Season to taste with basil, salt and pepper.

Next time you run out of lettuce give Dandelions a try, upload your photos and let me know other interesting Dandelion recipes.

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