Dandelion Pancakes

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.

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More delectable dandelions:
Dandelion Recipes from LearningHerbs.com
Dandelion Fritters from Manifest Vegan

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
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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.
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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

Ingredients

  • *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

Instructions

  • 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.

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31 thoughts on “Dandelion Pancakes”

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  5. Wow! This is so unique and such a cool use for dandelions. I love seeing dandelions in yards though, I think they are much prettier then grass. Plus they are LITERALLY called Dandy Lions. Who wouldn’t love having tons of dandy lions prowling around in their backyard?

    Reply
  6. I’ve never done anythign but make wine with them, but that works out so well I haven’t wanted to try antying else! These pancakes sound fantastic and might be worthy to eat after I pick my next batch of flowers to make wine.

    Jason

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  8. My eight-year old daughter asked about making dandelion pancakes today, as we were admiring their ability to take over the garden so quickly. On her own, she looked up this recipe, and with only a little bit of stove help made them for our dinner. We had the first batch savory with hot sauce and ricotta cheese and some sauteed greens, and the second batch (=dessert) sweet with jam or maple syrup.

    Thanks for the fun recipe and the additional dandelion info!

    Reply
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  10. I love your site!
    I wish my yard was greener, however it is so dry here we can’t even get weeds to grow!
    I made dandelion cookies a few years ago-mostly as a joke, but this sounds divine! I think I will have to try it and some of your homemade butter soon! I look forward to more from you. <3

    Reply
  11. This is a fantastic idea! I love Dandelions in the lawn – we have fields glowing with them here at the moment. I love using flowers in cooking and have never thought to eat dandelion flowers!

    Good call on the dog thing too…

    x x x

    Reply
  12. Hi Winnie,

    These are so cool! I love how you’ve used the dandelions in a recipe that one wouldn’t normally think of the greens in. Very fun! I’ve added this recipe to my Favorite Recipes post for this week. Enjoy! ~Aubree

    Reply
  13. OK. This resonates with my Inner Euell Gibbons. I’m leaving for a vacation cabin today and will definitely make these—how festive. Will do savory, maybe with some Tzatziki or a homemade chive-filled ranch. That’s how I do batter-fried elderflower clusters late May.

    Do you cook single buds? Looks like it, but hard to tell from photo. Bet I’ll find big flowers around Murrell’s Inlet.

    THANKS! Really looking forward to doing this.

    Reply
  14. What a wonderful recipe! I’ve never eaten dandelions, but I will now. Thanks for giving me a new perspective! :)

    Reply
  15. Interesting recipe! I just picked some dandelion greens from my backyard with the plans to make pesto. My friends asked “where did you get the greens, from the farmer’s market?” When I said they were from my backyard she died laughing! :)

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  16. Just to be clear – are you putting in the whole flower head, yellow and green part still together, unchopped? I’ve just recently read about how the yellow part can be pulled off for lovely jelly and syrup…I think it’s time to go picking!

    Reply
  17. I love dandelion greens , but live in the suburbs in a development and every lawn is fertilized to kill weeds, except mine of course but all the run off hits my lawn too. So, I buy my organic dandelions greens in the supermarket. I usually juice mine. Great recipe… thanks .

    Reply
  18. I’ll never look at my lawn the same way after this, I’ll be thinking of you the next time I see a dandelion pop up!

    Reply
  19. I don’t have a yard and thus no dandelions…and I feel kind of weird about going into Central Park and eating the ones from there…but next time I’m at my parents house I am going to go to town! These look awesome!

    Reply
  20. love the idea of using the dandelions from our backyard! i’ve heard so many great things about this plant and its wonders with detox. :)

    Reply
  21. You know, I eat dandelion greens all the time and I’ve read about dandelion wine, but I never thought about eating the flowers!! These look fantastic.

    Reply