Canning Sunshine: Dandelion Flower Tea
Written by: Sumati Shah, Go Go Green Thumbs
This is a time in the spring season when buds on the trees are swelling and some green is popping up…the lawns have started growing and so have the…weeds.
Permaculture is just one gardening method that will seek to change your mind about what weeds are, and what they aren’t.
It always come down to this
Rule of Green Thumbs: A weed is just a plant in the wrong place.
So while you gaze at your lawn and see the dandelions popping up – remember that!
I’ve already seen a few bumblebees out and about, they led my eye straight to a few dandelions, and I’m not sure which of the two excited me more!
They’re like little balls of sunshine when they open up with the sun touching them, their roots go deep and help to break up heavy soils and aerating as they do.
The entire plant is edible: flower, leaf and root. Roasted dandelion root tea is similar in flavour to chicory which is often used as a coffee substitute.
The flowers are what I like particularly like taking advantage of. They’re rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, you can easily search and find a list of benefits and nutrients for yourself and it’s always a good idea to be informed about what you’re consuming (we are what we eat!)
They make a lovely tea. I feel like I’m canning sunshine when I make it.
Of course be certain that the plants haven’t been treated with any chemicals – easy when you pick in your own garden! If in doubt, leave them out.
Fill a clean mason jar with flowers, packed, but not too tightly. Whatever amount you pick will be just fine. Flowers aren’t generally ‘buggy’ but do check while you’re picking and shake off any hangers on.
Next, pour boiling water over the flowers to fill the jar, and wait. Watch the gorgeous colour of the flowers turn the whole jar the colour of sunshine.
Leave it steeping for at least a few hours or overnight and strain the flowers to reserve the liquid only.
What you have is a sort of tea concentrate: I like to use 1/3-1/2 cup of that tea and dilute it with hot water to fill my mug…and sip in the sunshine!
Green Thumb Tip: by picking the flowers you’re preventing the spread of more dandelions, so it’s good to leave a few now and then!