Superweed : Dandelion
It's what we've all come to loath... Weeds. But who knew these garden invaders could be one of the most nutritious plants out there? We say superfood.
This summer's 'supertrend' is Taraxacum Officinale commonly known as the Dandelion. Containing over 110 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A, and out performing carrots with a higher beta-carotene value - not to mention dominating spinach in iron and calcium content - It is definitely the alpha of the greens, commonly compared to kale. Rich in inulin, which balances beneficial bacteria and blood sugars, as well as containing the vision-enhancing antioxidant lutein. Who knew you were better off eating your weeds?
How To Harvest :
All parts of the Dandelion are edible - from the roots to the flower. The roots can be harvested in early summer eaten raw, steamed or ground and roasted to be used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be eaten raw in salads, made into wine or even battered and deep fried. How to cook the nutritious leaves? Simple. These leaves can be used the same way as kale - in salads, juices or sautéed. To use in a salad, pick leaves from newly sprouted plants with small and tender leaves. The older plants are darker in colour with a stronger bitterness and are more suitable for cooking. Having a tougher texture, the older leaves are best sautéed or steamed as a healthy side to any dish.