In this time of social distancing and sometimes limited fresh produce in the grocery stores, there is an alternative, free means of supplementing any diet with delicious, free-range greens while enjoying the outdoors.
As soon as the grass starts to turn green, a common tooth-leaved “weed” starts to appear. Taraxacum officinale, the often- maligned common dandelion, is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A-112% , Vitamin C-32%, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.
Many people try dandelion greens about the time the first flowers appear. By this time, the greens are very bitter. April to early May is the best time to utilize the greens of the dandelion. One of the favorite early season dandelion treats has been called “Yard Squid” because of the shape of the young plant used in the recipe. Delicious, crispy, and not bitter, this dish is kid and husband approved. Grab your hand gardening tools and go Free Range Shopping in your yard.
Remember to gather any wild edible at least 50 feet from any roadway, where there has been no use of pesticides or herbicides, and away from polluted streams or ditches.