By Kari Svenneby
What more can symbolize a childhood and spring than kids picking and playing with dandelions. Even though we adults look at dandelions and think “WEED”, children love them. God bless them!
The uncountable bouquets proudly collected and delivered to mums and grandmothers alone should give the lovely dandelion a little status. And not to mention the almost lost art of making a crown out of them. Dandelion Crowns
Dandelions also have a lot of qualities you may not know; you can eat young leaves and buds in a salad. Dried dandelions can be used in tea. Dandelions can be used in soups and omelets. Dandelions roots can even be ground and used as coffee substitute. Roots are even registered as a drug (in Canada), it is also known to treat several illnesses like kidney disease.
Dandelions have a pretty high nutrition value , in fact so high that the U.S Agriculture Department puts it before broccoli and Spinach on their chart!
Nutritional value in Dandelions 100 grams (nearly half a cup):
3.1 mg iron
397 mg potassium
9.2 g carbohydrates
2.7 g protein
66 mg phosphorus
187 mg calcium
76 mg sodium
* 36 mg magnesium
14,000 vitamin A
So think about that, the next time you look hatefully on the dandelions on your lawn.
Before you even consider to try dandelions in a culinary way you have to be absolutely sure that they have not been sprayed with any lawn or garden chemicals.
But, the most joy it gives children, is that there is so many different things you can do with them. I have so many fun memories with dandelions when I was a child.
Some FUN things to do with dandelions
Pick dandelions with your children and make dandelion crowns for them to wear. You start with one dandelion and you put a loop over one dandelion and you continue, before you know it you have wonderful crown.
Making curly strings
Peel the stems in strings and see what happen when you put them in a jar of water. It makes curly strings, like angel hair. I use them as decorations on the table.
"Do you like butter”?
Pick a dandelion and hold it beneath your kid chin. If your kid chin turns bright yellow, they like butter!
Pick several stalks of dandelions. Make a ring by putting the thin end of one stalk into the thicker end Then thread the next stalk through the ring, make a new ring, and continue until the chain is as long as you want it.
Find an old dandelion full of seeds, and blow hard. The winner is the one who has fewest seeds left.