Fast Fitness - High Nutrition Garden, Free
Here is Fast Friday Fitness - Bend right and pull one of the highest nutrition garden items, free, even if you have not planted a garden:
- Find dandelions. You can tell them by their jagged leaves. The leaves gave them their name, from the French for 'dents de lion' (tooth of the lion).
- Use good bending, with squat or lunge, to pull free nutritious food. Many people will let you have theirs free.
- You can eat the green, the flowers, even the roots. USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz & Matthews 1984) ranks dandelions in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value.
Dandelion has long been known as a top nutritional food and even medicine. The official name, Taraxacum officinal, comes from the Greek, 'taraxos' meaning 'disorder' and 'akos' meaning 'remedy.'
Eat the greens as salad, sautéed like other green vegetables, or make juice. Greens are best fresh and young, just before the plant flowers. Greens have bitter taste (like coffee and beer) that is said to aid digestion. People who are accustomed to junk sweets may not like them at first, then they taste better over time, and mixed with nuts, spices, and vinegar.
Dandelion flowers are pretty in salads and on vegetables, or use them to make wine (to be covered in posts to come). Dandelion root contains inulin, a soluble fiber which does not raise blood sugar or triglycerides, making it helpful to people with diabetes. Dig roots in early spring or fall. You can eat them as is, or soak them in a jar of brandy or vodka for four weeks (or more) to make a tincture.
Now you can stop using poisonous and expensive chemicals on your lawn too. Better not to add these substances to the water system, or to yours.
The good news? Even when you pull them to eat, they come back to make more free nutritious garden without work.
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