‘Bizarre yet effective’ Don’t throw away dandelion weeds – why you should eat them instead

Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds

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After pulling out dandelion weeds from your garden lawn, you’re most likely to chuck them into your garden waste bin and get on with tending to your grass. However, according to Jeff Taraday, a nutrition expert from breakingmuscle.com and author of The Plant Eater, you might want to consider some of the health benefits that come from eating dandelion greens.

Though it might sound strange, according to the expert, including the green parts of dandelions in your diet can pack a vitamin punch.

He said: “Whilst there are countless ways to get more nutrients into your diet, one bizarre yet effective way to do this is to eat dandelion greens.

“Dandelions are loaded with vitamins A and K.

“Consuming vitamin A can help to improve vision in dim light, and it boosts the human body’s immune system.

“Vitamin K is much needed for the body when it comes to clotting the blood to heal wounds.

“There is also evidence that demonstrates vitamin K to be helpful for keeping bones healthy.”

According to WebMD, dandelion is “likely safe for most people when consumed in the amounts commonly found in food”.

However, there is always the risk of allergic reactions, stomach discomfort, diarrhoea or heartburn in some people – especially when eating in vast quantities.

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Dandelion is said to have a spicy taste, and replicates that of leaves, such as rocket.

Mr Taraday said: “Dandelion greens are more palatable when combined with other milder greens like spinach, and chard, as there is a slight bitterness in taste.

“Dandelion greens work well as an extra boost in green juices.

“If the bitterness is too much to handle, simply squeeze some lemon juice on them or include lemon in your juice; it’ll cut the bitterness and help increase iron absorption.”

If you are planning on eating dandelion greens, it is imperative you clean them properly before consuming them – especially if plucked from your own garden.

Experts from Almanac said: “Pay rigorous attention to cleaning the grit and debris from inside the tightly formed crown.

“Swish the greens around in a deep pan through several changes of water.

“Then cut open the crowns without severing the leaves and scrape debris from each rosette before submerging the greens for a final rinse.”

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