I love dandelions! They are so amazingly healing and so versatile to use.
One of my favorite recipes is dandelion pesto, and it is a perfect time for it. Dandelions are starting to pop up, so because I love pesto bitter dandelion greens was first on my list.
It really brings me down memory lane to my childhood, where I was harvesting dandelions with my grandmother and making different recipes- coming soon!
Dandelion has been used and valued since ancient times for its incredible healing properties. It is a symbol of the true perseverance of nature. Although this plant has a high value, it can be quite troublesome for the gardeners.
Dandelions are a nutritional powerhouse!
They are full of:
- amino acids and fatty acids
- sugars (eg inulin – which is necessary to form fructose),
- minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, boron, silicon
- vitamins A, B, C, K and E
All parts of the dandelion are edible – stems, leaves, flowers, and roots. The root roots contain many beneficial substances that have a strengthening and detoxifying effect on the body, such as 10% glycoside taraxacin, bitter substances, inulin, and up to 15% protein.
Dandelion is used to treat anemia, liver conditions, skin conditions, lymphatic inflammation to improve gastrointestinal tract function and liver metabolism. The bitter ingredients in dandelion flowers are incredibly beneficial to the body because they stimulate the activity of the stomach and digestive glands, which promotes the digestion of food. This flower exceeds any vegetable in its richness of nutrients.
Dandelion is also anti-inflammatory, ant-viral, and antimicrobial; thus, it is immune boosting!
How to Harvest Dandelion Greens
The time is perfect for it because there are so many dandelion greens all around and in my yard!
These dandelion greens now are absolutely gorgeous and big in early spring, which is is the best time to harvest them. To harvest and eat dandelions, try to clip the small leaves from the plant before the plant flowers.
How to Make Dandelion Pesto
This dandelion pesto recipe is relatively easy and standard as far as pesto recipes go. I just made a few changes because I used what I had in my pantry, so I used cashews instead of pine nuts.
Dandelion leaves replace basil in the pesto recipe, which is excellent for digestion and the liver.
The addition of lemon zest and juice cuts the bitterness of the dandelion greens. I also added some turmeric, which gives the pesto anti-inflammatory properties, and black pepper makes turmeric more bioavailable.
Place the soaked cashews, dandelion greens, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, and spices into a food processor. Process until smooth. If it is too thick, slowly add a bit more olive oil.
You can also add some parmesan or nutritional yeast ( nutritional yeast will give you that cheesy flavor if you don’t eat dairy) and continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Sometimes I also like to freeze in ice cube trays for later use.
This dandelion pesto is so flavorful and amazingly delicious!
I hope you try this dandelion pesto this spring!
MORE USES FOR FORAGED DANDELION
Do you ever cook with dandelion greens? What is your favorite thing to make?
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thetastesoflifeholisticblog
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups dandelion leaves chopped fresh loosely packed
- 2 lemons juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup extra virgin oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, slowly add a bit more olive oil.
- Optional: add the Parmesan or nutritional yeast and continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
- Refrigerate and eat within four days.