It’s Spring! The time of year that you want to eat as many dark leafy and bitter astringent greens as you possibly can. Not only will these greens help you get rid of that extra coat of winter fat and make you feel more energized, they will also help you get rid of winter dampness and congestion, so you can get through Spring without suffering from allergies and colds.
Dandelion greens are one of the best greens to introduce into your diet in the Spring.
While known as a weed to most, this weed has some pretty powerful health benefits including detoxification, allergy relief and normalizing blood sugar. It is also known for being good for your kidneys, liver, stabilizes high blood sugar and reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol. Dandelion greens are high in calcium, iron, protein, beta carotene, Vitamin K and contain tons of antioxidants.
How to eat Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion greens can be added to salads, smoothies (start with a little bit at first), made into tea and sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic.
I don’t recommend harvesting dandelion greens from a lawn, as pesticides could be an issue. If you have a safe place to harvest them, by all means do it. Otherwise, you can buy dandelion greens from natural food stores such as Whole Foods.
If you’re new to eating dandelion greens, try this delicious recipe from the book Greens, Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi and Catherine Waters (my go-to book for green recipes). The creaminess of the tahini sauce cuts the bitterness of the greens nicely.
Creamed Sesame Dandelions
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound dandelion greens, washed, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a large 10 or 12 inch skillet that has a tight-fitting lid. Add chopped dandelions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cooked dandelion greens (saving the liquid broth to drink) and set aside.
- Heat oil over lot-to-medium heat in th skillet and sauté the garlic slices for 1 to 2 minutes, until light golden. Stir in the pre-cooked dandelions and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, to let the flavors mingle.
- In a small bowl, combine tahini, water and tamari and mix until creamy. Pour sauce into the pan with cooked greens and stir until thoroughly mixed. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.