In my last post, I talked a bit about eating dandelion greens. Today for Eco-Friendly Friday, I made breakfast out of dandelion flowers!
So many people in America hate seeing dandelions all over their lawns. This is really a shame because the whole plant is edible and has so many great things going for it. Dandelion leaves are super nutritious: they have more vitamins and minerals than pretty much any green grown as food. Eating them can benefit your digestion, kidneys, and liver, and they are said to be great for detoxifying the body. If you don’t pick them when they’re young, they can indeed be bitter, but bitter foods are amazing for stimulating the digestive system. Dandelion roots have a reputation for being potent medicine for the liver, as well.
While dandelion flowers do not have as much nutritive/medicinal value as the rest of the plant, they are still good for you (and they’re considered a heart tonic in herbal medicine), plus you can make some really fun things with them including a tasty wine, fritters, or pancakes like you see here. They do have a slightly bitter taste but it’s barely detectable when you fry them…what doesn’t taste good fried, right?!
So if your lawn looks like mine…
… why bother going on a crusade to try and get rid of those dandelions? Why waste time trying to dig them out? Or worse…why poison them? That’s a really eco-unfriendly practice :(
Makes more sense to me to be happy that they are there, and to use them as food.
This recipe for dandelion pancakes is super simple. I made a really basic batter out of gluten-free flours, milk, and egg, then mixed in my dandelion flowers and a teeny bit of salt. If you deep-fried these, they’d be more like fritters, but I pan-fried them so they came out like pancakes. I adore organic coconut oil so used it for the frying, but I see no reason why you couldn’t use another oil like olive or grapeseed for this purpose. I ate mine just like regular pancakes with maple syrup, but you could make them savory by adding herbs or spices to the batter if you like.
Recipe for Gluten Free Dandelion Pancakes
Make sure to collect your dandelion flowers from an area that hasn't been sprayed with chemicals, isn't too close to the road, and isn't where dogs relieve themselves
Makes 12 small pancakes
*3/4 cup favorite gluten-free flour blend (I used Ahern's All Purpose GF Flour Mix); if you don't eat gf, feel free to use organic all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup organic cornmeal
*1/2 cup raw/organic milk (or milk substitute)
(you can use up to 1 cup if you want a looser batter)
*1 egg, preferably organic and free-range
*about 30 dandelion flower heads
*pinch of sea salt
*organic coconut oil for frying
1. In a small bowl, mix the flour(s) with the cornmeal, then add the milk and egg. Whisk to combine.
2. Mix in the dandelion flowers and the salt into the batter.
3. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. When it's nice and hot, drop rounded spoonfuls of the dandelion batter into the oil (I made my pancakes pretty small).
4. Cook the pancakes on one side until brown, then flip over and cook on the other side. When they’re brown on both sides remove them from the skillet and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
5. Serve drizzled with maple syrup, honey, or all-natural jam. They are also good topped with some Greek yogurt. If you want them to be savory, try mixing herbs or spices into the batter and forgoing the sweet topping.
So what are you doing to live greener these days? I want to know! Feel free to link to your eco-friendly blog content with the “linky tool” below. I’ll leave the linky up through midnight EST on Sunday 5/1/11.
A lot of topics fit comfortably under the eco-friendly umbrella, so I’d love to hear about the following:
* your foraging/organic gardening/small-scale farming efforts
* your support for local farms/farmer’s markets
* what you cook with your harvest/farmer’s market haul (includes recipes for canning and preserving)
* cooking efforts that save you money, cut down on packaging and allow you to eat better
* your composting and worm bin efforts
* your experiences keeping chickens, goats, cows, etc.
* your experiences with beekeeping
* your tips for recycling and reusing things around the house instead of throwing them away
* projects you’ve done that have improved the energy efficiency of your home
* green decor ideas
* recommendations for environmentally friendly products you use
* examples of how you’ve conserved energy and/or saved money by adopting a greener lifestyle
Here are the linking up guidelines:
* Please add a link to this post somewhere in your blog post entry stating that it’s a part of this week’s Eco-Friendly Friday over at Healthy Green Kitchen.
* Make sure to link to your individual post, not to your home page.
* Make sure your post contains some element of “eco-friendliness”.
* Please only link to one blog post per blog.
* When you link, please share the subject of your post; your name and the name of your blog are optional. Sample entry: Natural Beekeeping (Winnie @ Healthy Green Kitchen)