Not only are raw dandelion greens edible, but also they have a great nutritional value. They’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, carotenoids, phytosterols, and polyphenols!
All parts of dandelions are edible
There are many species of dandelions. The most common are Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum. Dandelions are also called Taraxacum.
Dandelions are edible weeds. All parts of the plant are edible. The leaves, stem, flower, and even the root are all edible:
- raw dandelion leaves are great in salads
- cooked stems taste amazing in pies
- roasted root is a traditional coffee alternative in some countries
- dandelion flowers are used to the production of tea, wine, honey, and beer
Can you eat dandelion greens raw?
You can eat dandelion greens either cooked or raw. Raw dandelion greens are great in salads or sandwiches. Raw dandelion greens have a bitter taste. You’ll love them if you love the taste of arugula.
If you don’t like the bitter flavor of dandelion greens, rinse them thoroughly with cold water. The compounds that make dandelions bitter will leach into the water. It’s better to rinse them in running water. Moreover, you could use other herbs and spices with strong flavors in recipes, such as garlic.
Also, you can blanch dandelion greens if you prefer them cooked. Blanching dandelion greens for a couple of minutes softens the bitterness.
Eating dandelion greens raw preserves their nutrients, though. For instance, vitamin C is extremely vulnerable to heat. Boiling dandelion greens destroys most of it. Furthermore, heat decreases the concentrations of beta-carotene and lutein.[1,2]
Can you eat raw or cooked dandelions every day?
Dandelions have low toxicity. They have no toxins or alkaloids. These plant compounds can be toxic. Furthermore, studies on animals showed no sighs of toxicity, even to particularly high doses of 6 grams per kilogram of body weight.
However, allergic reactions are possible. So, people with allergies should be very cautious. In any case, start eating dandelion greens once a while. Just to be sure.
Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your diet.
Why should we eat dandelion greens?
First, dandelion greens are good for weight loss because they’re low in calories. They have only 45 calories per 100g. Moreover, dandelion greens keep us full for a long time, as they’re high in fiber.
Actually, dandelion greens have a great nutritional value. They’re particularly high in calcium, iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin:
- calcium. They’re among the best plant-based sources of calcium, with 187 mg of calcium per 100g.
- iron. They have 3.1 mg of iron per 100g. This dose is 38% of the Daily Value
- vitamin K. They have 778 mcg of vitamin K per 100g. Actually, dandelion greens are among the richest foods in vitamin K.
- vitamin C. Dandelion greens are also among the richest vegetables in vitamin C. They have 35 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
- beta-carotene. Dandelion greens are particularly rich in beta-carotene. They contain 5,854 mcg of beta-carotene per 100g.
- lutein and zeaxanthin. Most noteworthy, dandelion greens are the richest common food in lutein and zeaxanthin. They have 13,610 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin per 100g!
In addition, dandelion greens are excellent dietary sources of phytosterols, which may lower LDL-cholesterol.