One of the most common and most despised weeds in the world is the dandelion. They seem to grow everywhere, particularly where you don’t want them to grow. That is a classic definition of a ‘weed’; a plant that grows where you don’t want it to grow. However, there are some fantastic reasons to eat dandelions, too. Here are the top 10 reasons:
Dandelions are so wide-spread that it is extremely difficult to find places where they don't grow. They are hardy, drought tolerant, heat tolerant, cold tolerant, and even grow in poor soil that won't support many other kinds of plants. Where they aren't native, they've been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, so about the only places they don't grow are the polar regions and the driest and hottest deserts. Dandelions aren't native to America, yet they grow in every state, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
A cup of chopped dandelions contains only about five grams of carbohydrates, about 2% of the recommended daily value. They also contain one and a half grams of protein, which is 3% of the daily value, and they have a whopping 1.9 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value. All of this gives them a glycemic load index of only 2, which is exceptionally low.
There are quite a few recipes for dandelions. However, the leaves are quite simple to just rinse and steam. The roots can be washed, peeled, sliced, and cooked like carrots. The roots can also be dried, ground, and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be batter fried or made into dandelion wine. None of these are difficult.