Dandelion greens have made their way into the supermarket, but what about the roots? Dandelion roots are both nutritious and edible. They can be foraged in the early spring before the plants send up flower stalks to minimize bitterness.
Dandelion roots are a common ingredient in herbal bitters, and they’re made into a tincture to cast off winter sluggishness. Dried and roasted roots can be brewed into a convincing herbal coffee substitute. Given that, it’s no surprise that they’re a little bitter to eat.
Honestly, they’re a lot less bitter than I’d expect. They were bitter like a spring salad green. Think watercress or endive.
Start by harvesting dandelion roots. Obviously, avoid anywhere that was sprayed. It can be tough to dig out the roots if you have clay soil like we do, but often they’ll just pull up roots and all from loose soil.
After you’ve washed the roots, it’s time to peel off their tough outer layer. The outer layer of dandelion roots is a bit like that of a beet. It’s separate from the actual root, and a quick 2-minute boil or steam will loosen it and allow you to peel it right off.
They can also be peeled with a knife, but that’s only practical if you have large dandelion roots. Our dandelions cant form a large solid root in our heavy soil, so a quick steam is necessary to peel them.
After a 2 minute steam, pull the dandelion roots out and drop them into ice water. Use your hands to slip the outer peel off the outside of the roots. It should come right off in one piece.
After you’ve peeled the dandelion roots, steam them or boil them for another 5 minutes (or 8 to 10 if you have large roots).
Serve dandelion roots like you would carrots or parsnips. A little salt and butter is tasty, and a splash of apple cider vinegar will help you enjoy the slight bitterness.
I think they’d be particularly tasty sliced, and then tossed into a salad with other spring edibles like steamed fiddleheads, ramp greens and maybe a violet or two.
I have been trying to live as self reliant as I can for many years. But since I developed arthritis the gardening, harvesting and processing have become very difficult. I was glad to find your post on Pinterest about dandelions, I have lots of them and now I have another way to process them.
. Shelagh Drew (drewgida(1))
Smile, maybe someone will smile back, 🙂
Already flowered in my South Caroluna yard.
Need to make these pinable
Thank You! I knew about the greens but not about the roots.
How many calories are in dandelion root?
I’m not sure. I looked around a little online only but I could the nutritional information on the leaves.
I have an area that is graveled and the dandelions have started there. They are so easy to pull! It’s pea gravel.
Please be careful that this area wasn’t used for vehicles in the past. Leaded gasoline may have contaminated it. I know nothing of where you are located, but this happened to me in the city. I discovered it when I had the soil tested for lead.
Thank you so much for the information! How is your arthritis doing? Cutting out wheat and dairy has helped lots of people in lessening or even curing their arthritis! I know it’s changed my life for the better, even though it’s hard to do.
Lots of love to you and your tribe
Do you have any favorite dandelion wine recipes? (Your willing to share)
This is my recipe: https://practicalselfreliance.com/dandelion-wine-recipe/
Do you need to add more sugar water to the dandelion wine as it ages? Thanks
No, there is no need to add additional sugar. Here is a post with specific directions on making dandelion wine. https://practicalselfreliance.com/dandelion-wine-recipe/
Are the roots also edible raw? I can’t seem to find any blog online stating you can’t, but neither that you can.
I believe that you can eat them raw but they are probably tastier cooked or roasted.