There are so many reasons to let dandelions grow in your garden. Firstly, they are a fantastic source of pollen and nectar for pollinators. Just before the flowers turn to the instantly recognisable cottony seedheads, you can use dandelions to make dandelion honey or syrup.
Dandelions are commonly known as weeds and are often overlooked. However, all parts of them are edible, both raw and cooked. If you do want to eat them raw, harvest young leaves because more mature leaves have a bitter taste. Although, mature leaves work well in soups and stews.
Then, the flower buds can be added to omelettes, and the flowers can be baked into cakes. But be sure not to take all of the flowers as bees will need the nectar and pollen supplies.
Dandelions are rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as being a source of vitamin E, calcium, iron, and potassium.
They have a longstanding history of use in food and herbal medicines. For example, dandelion-and-burdock is a very popular drink and the roots have long been used as a coffee substitute.
In terms of their herbal uses, dandelions are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach issues. Whilst in Europe, they have been used in remedies for liver problems, eye problems, diabetes, and boils.
The dandelion honey has more of a syrupy and thinner consistency compared to honey. Although the colouring is very similar and the taste isn’t too dissimilar either – this makes it a good alternative for vegans, people with honey allergies, or if you want a homemade solution.
It’s a fantastic thing to have on hand in the kitchen, to be used on toast and pancakes, or in drinks like tea.
As with any flowers used in food and drinks, it’s important to ensure that the flowers haven’t had any chemicals applied to them.
Dandelion honey recipe card
As an edible weed, you can enjoy the flowers and foliage of dandelions in the kitchen with this dandelion honey. However, ensuring there is still plenty on offer for pollinators is vital when it comes to picking these vibrant flowers.