Scary Foods to Make Yourself Eat: Dandelion Greens

Spread the love

For the second installment of our series Scary Foods to Make Yourself Eat, we’re venturing into vegetables – debatably an even tougher sell than sardines (read part one about sardines). If you don’t already eat a lot of green vegetables, then you may just want to start by adding dark leafy greens (spinach, romaine, kale, chard, etc.) to your everyday diet. If greens are a staple, then consider incorporating the less common leaf of the dandelion plant.

In the Northeast we primarily know dandelions as those pesky weeds that invade our lawns every spring. Some of us may remember the childhood challenge of blowing all the seed spores off a mature flower with a single breath. But we rarely considered the leaves as an edible green vegetable. Turns out, not only are they edible, they’re quite nutritious. 

In this case nutritious comes with a price. These leaves are very bitter. Frankly, that’s why they’re on this list. But in plants, bitter taste often coincides with strong anti-inflammatory properties, supporting the prevention of chronic disease. Dandelion is no exception. A range of phytonutrient compounds have made the root, leaves and flowers of the dandelion plant medicinal staples in every tradition of healing. More notably, dandelion leaves are a strong diuretic and support the liver for optimal detoxification and cleansing, making them a great food to incorporate when you want to refresh and rejuvenate the body (they arrive in spring for a reason). As an excellent source of carotenoids (vitamin A), vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium and iron, they hold their own against more standard leafy greens.

There are many ways to get around the bitter taste and enjoy them as part of your spring diet. Mix some raw chopped dandelion into your salad mix to kick up the flavor, blend them into green smoothies, or add them to soups just before serving. For more great ideas on how to eat dandelion greens, check out this post from Huffington Post.


Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
    read more..
  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
    read more..
  • Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
    read more..
  • Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
    read more..
  • Debi Silber
    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
    read more..
  • Teri Cochrane
    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
    read more..
  • Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
    read more..
  • Susan Levin
    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
    read more..
  • Rob Brown
    Dr. Rob Brown
    Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.
    read more..
March 2023