Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Dandelion Greens – No Common Weed!

It’s hard to believe there was a time in my life when I thought of dandelion greens as weeds! Clearly, I had never made a meal of them, nor had I read about or studied the many health benefits these common backyard plants confer. Growing up in the South, I learned to love just about any greens that were put on my plate, but I have to admit, I never saw a dandelion sitting there. As I got older and ventured into both the culinary and health fields, I learned to enjoy them in more ways than one. Did you know that the flower, leaves and root of the dandelion are all edible? Traditional people have used the whole plant for healing support for eons. A quick peruse around our stores will turn up dandelion root tea, dandelion tincture, dandelion capsules and tablets, and of course, dandelion greens. Renowned for supporting healthy liver function, you can find this wonderful plant in many combination herbal formulas as well. When it comes to good health and good taste, dandelion greens are a perfect choice providing calcium, iron, fiber, Vitamins A, E and K, and powerful antioxidants including beta Carotene and lutein. If you have never tasted dandelion leaves, you are in for a nice surprise but remember: Like many leafy greens, they can be a little bitter, but when properly prepared, you’ll be glad you tried them! (Try steaming them before sautéing for less of a bite.) Here are some delicious ways to start: When purchasing dandelion greens, be sure to look for organic varieties. The plants should be a beautiful green shade, not browned, spoiled or wilted. And remember, they will have a bit of a bite, so go slow if you haven’t tried them before. Spring is the time to turn over a new leaf - a beautiful green, dandelion leaf – at its very best, most tender, and most delicious right now, in the early spring. Have you ever eaten dandelion greens? Do you have a favorite recipe? Let me know!