Why The French Love Dandelions

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In France, and Italy too, spring means piling dandelions on your plate. Here’s why.

Forget all those preconceived notions about garden weeds. Come spring, it’s dandelion season in France and Italy – and we’re not just talking about the leaves. We’re talking stem, bloom, roots – the whole thing.

The name “dandelion” comes from the French for “dent de lion,” or the Italian “denti di leone,” both of which mean “the lion’s tooth,” a reference to their jagged edges. Healers have used dandelions for centuries because they are renowned for supporting healthy liver function and are packed with calcium, iron, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K and powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein (great for healthy eyesight!). The dandelion is also a powerful diuretic (in French it’s also known as “pissenlit,” an unglamorous but straightforward nod to bedwetting).

Dandelions are at most tender and most delicious in spring. After winter’s last snow melted in our town near the Alps, my father-in-law would start his own annual rite of spring: collecting the best dandelion leaves in the garden for lunchtime salads. The leaves are still quite small in the early days of spring, so it was definitely a labor of love. Rustling up enough for a big salad was a real time commitment!

But you don’t have to go to that much trouble. Have a quick look around a Whole Foods Market and you’ll find dandelion root tea, dandelion capsules and tablets, in addition to fresh dandelion greens.

Dandelion greens are great in salads or as a salad on their own. Their bitter taste might take some getting used to, but the upside is that they can be prepared in so many ways!

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Salad: If you find dandelion too bitter for you, mix it up with other fresh greens to level out the flavor.
  2. Soup: Chop up the leaves and add to soups, stews or to your slow cooker recipes.
  3. Grains: Add to a bowl of quinoa or brown rice, along with some walnuts and sliced red onions.
  4. Sautéed: Sauté with garlic and onion and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Bowl: Make a bowl of fresh dandelion greens, feta cheese, diced red onions, and raisins.
  6. Juice: Add them to your green juice in the morning.
  7. Smoothie: Add them to your favorite smoothie recipes.
  8. Bean Salad: Make a cold bean salad with dandelion greens, white beans, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  9. Tea: Steep the leaves in hot water and enjoy dandelion tea.
  10. Pasta: Add them to your favorite pasta dishes.

When buying dandelion greens, stick to the organic variety when possible, and buy in spring. Wash thoroughly before consuming. Bon appétit!

By: Rebecca Plantier
Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

2014-03-21T10:59:37+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I am taking more than 20-30 herbal supplements a day and am wondering if it's okay to mix or take all of them at the same time. Here's an example of some I am taking: Burdock, Yellow Dock, Sarsaparilla, Kelp, Licorice Root, Oregon Grape Root, Red Clover, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Calcium, Magnesium, 50 Chlorella tablets 200mg, 10 500mg Spirulina capsules elderberry, echinacea, goldenseal, vitamin e, gotu kola, american ginseng guarana, dong quai, guggulipid, red yeast rice, hoodia, dandelion, cod liver oil, neptune krill oil, acai, psyllium husks, apple pectin, oat bran chromium picolinate, wormwood, damiana, st johns wort, 5-htp and pycnogenol not to mention others. They are mostly in gelatin capsules. I am concerned that too much gelatin is bad for me too!

    A:

    You are overloading your body! Spread those supplements out throughout your day. Take 6 of them at a time every 3 hours or so. This is best for your body!

    For example:
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    1 p.m.
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    4 p.m.
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    A:

    That product ABGONE is crap due to the ingredients. No product is your solution, but the mind (thoughts, attitude), diet, lifestyle, etc. Stop worrying about the pot belly and focus on your desired state. Only see your results in your mind and you will attract the results on the material plane. Please read through some of our articles, beloved!

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    Q: Hello, this is my 2nd time doing the full body cleanse. I did it last year so now I'm doing it again. I started on Monday 3/9 and since have lost 5 lbs. Is that normal? Also why do you recommend Distilled water and not Spring and/or filtered (Brita). I have always drank a lot of water but roughly how many times a day should I urinate and how many times a day should I make a BM? When I did it the first time last year it was late Spring early Summer and incorporated a lot of walking which helped out a lot. This time not so much due to the horrible NY weather. I would appreciate you answering my questions and getting back to me at your earliest convenience. Thanks

    A: Everyone's body is different and responds to the regimen differently. Losing 5 pounds in days is okay. Distilled water is the best type of water that helps to detox the body. You should be drinking half your body weight in water. Anything you put into your body you can expect it to come out. Bowel movements and urination is directly related to the foods and beverages you're consuming. Be sure that you're consuming three regular meals a day; eating fruits and vegetables with fiber.

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

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    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

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    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

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    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Product Links:
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    Q: Hello, I read one of the articles it said to drink distilled water. I was drinking that because I thought it was the right one. A book I was reading said to drink spring water. Can you explain the difference to me about distilled and spring?

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    Q: I have been on the Full Body Cleanse for 3 - 4 days now & I have noticed that I have more acid reflux symptoms. I want to continue with the program as I feel as it would help me to become much healthier. I have been to a homeopathic doctor & he indicated senna leaves are not the best thing for me to use. I may not have had the right grade senna leaves tablet at the time too. Any suggestions?

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    All of our products are well-proportioned, so the senna leaves will not be a problem. The senna is well balanced for optimal benefit.

    Excess acid reflux means your body is adjusting to the cleanse. You are very acidic and the herbs are alkaline. Healing is taking place. Keep with your cleanse!

     

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    Q: I am on day 4 of the FULL BODY DETOX and was wondering what else can or should I eat besides toss salad and fruits and veggies. I know I can do organic non-salt nuts, steamed veggies, fruits smoothies and wild rice but is they’re anything I am not suppose to eat besides meat and sweets (sodas)? I have eaten toss salad was it ok that I put cheese on it? I am struggling to find other food options. Please help!!

    A:

    I WOULD SUGGEST YOU ORDER OUR ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL E-BOOK. IT HAS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. IT'S A GREAT RESOURCE.

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    Q: I have the alternative diet and lifestyle manual and want to make sure that this applies to the respiratory condition as well. Can I have the rice bread with no gluten or wheat? or rice pasta being that I have sarcoid? Can I eat cold water fish or venison in small portions along with veggies? What about rice or soy milk or protein whey shake for breakfast once or twice a week? Thank you once again my breathing has improved greatly and I have ordered many more supplies to maintain what I have accomplished thus far due to your regimen. I am not a vegetarian so I want to make sure it is okay to have white meats. I will do whatever I have to do to live. I love and appreciate everything you have done to change and help me to heal myself.

    A:

    The manual applies when you are FINISHED with a cleanse or kit. Follow the regimen's diet. It clearly states NO COOKED FOOD. You are asking us about cooked food here. Stick to the diet plan and you will be alright! You are asking about foods no good for your condition. Whey is crap. Meat is no good. Grains are no good for you as well. They all produce too much mucus!

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    Q: I had surgery to drain a cyst on my right ovary, while in surgery the doctor hit my bowels, and they had to call in a surgeon to repair my bowels. I am on this low fiber diet now, and not able to eat raw foods. This means nothing in the green family like lettuce, or greens since they are hard to digest. This list includes no nuts, or fresh fruits with skin. How can I can complete a cleanse, if I am not able to eat the raw vegetables and nuts?

    A:

    Simply perform your cleanse of choice and just eat as best you can, okay?

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    Q: Do you have any advice for one who would like to start a garden. Also, where should I get my seeds, should they be so called organic? What are your thoughts on the upside down planters?

    A:

    I say DO IT! GO FOR IT! Look for organic seeds, perhaps on the Inter-net (organic seeds, organic gardening, etc.) Give the upside down planters a try! Experiment!