Flowers–even allergy sufferers can appreciate a beautiful bloom! Not only do flowers add color and life to our yard and homes, but many varieties of flowers are edible. Delightful Dandelions are no exception. In Delightful Dandelions: Part 3, you will learn the ins and outs of harvesting/foraging the dandelion flower for recipes .
Harvesting and foraging
After doing extensive research, I found that the “right” time to harvest your Delightful Dandelions will vary depending upon the recipe: Dandelion Fritters require full blooms while Dandelion Capers only use the bud. To harvest the bloom or bud, just scout out the appropriate stage of flowering and pluck flower or bud from stem. To easily access just the petals, other recipes call for the flowers to be picked and dried. For this use, pick your Delightful Dandelions in the morning while they are still closed. Twist the petals away from the stem. I like to use my colander to gather the flowers in so I can immediately wash them back in the kitchen. And always remember to pick dandelions you know for certain haven’t been sprayed with herbicide.
(FYI: other flowers look very similar to dandelions. Check out this chart to see the difference)
After you have washed and drained your foraged harvest of dandelions, lay them out to drain on a clean dish towel or paper towels. The drying process takes 2-3 days depending on how well you have drained the washed flowers. I let my flowers dry about one week before using them .
After they are dry, the green “brack” part of the flower can be removed and composted.
When the Delightful Dandelions are dry and the bracks removed, store the petals in a jar or zip lock.
Now they are ready to use! Try them in Dandelion Muffins!
2 cup unbleached Wheat Montana flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup dried dandelion petals
1/4 cup sunflower oil
4 Tbs Cooks honey
1 local egg
1 1/2 cup (minus 2 Tbs) Kalispell Kremery whole milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix. Add the dandelion petals. Mix. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine milk, honey, and oil. Beat in the egg. Add liquid ingredients to dry. Do not over stir! The batter should be a little lumpy. Pour into muffin tins that have been greased or in muffin papers in muffin tin ( I love the re-usable silicone ones!) . Place in the oven. Check for readiness after 15 minutes by poking in a toothpick –if it comes out clean, the muffins are done. (The regular muffins took about 30 mins and the mini ones took about 20 minutes. But remember: ALL ovens vary.) Cool on racks and enjoy!
(Makes 12 dozen regular muffins + 12 mini muffins)
Next time in our Delightful Dandelion series–the root.