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I was thrilled to find some dandelions growing in my yard. That may not be a statement you hear often. Dandelions are touted as having numerous medical benefits including helping with digestive issues, fighting Alzheimer's, balancing blood sugar levels, assisting or preventing liver diseases, and helping with weight loss. Dandelions are one of those often undesirable plants in the modern world that has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. All parts of the dandelion is edible, and some of the culinary uses include soups and teas.
The roots of the dandelion can be consumed raw, dried, or steamed. They are frequently roasted and ground to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute. If you plan to add the leaves to a salad or otherwise eat raw, pick the young, small leaves. The larger leaves are more bitter and tough, but are perfect steamed, boiled, sauteed, or braised. The flowers have been used to make tea, jellies, and even wine!
Make sure you pick only those plants that have not been sprayed with pesticide. Wash and enjoy!