Delicious Dandelions (A Recipe Round-Up)

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Spring. I absolutely love this time of year. Our starts are in the greenhouse, and I am already thinking about what all I want to harvest, can, freeze, ferment and dehydrate from this years harvest. 

But as much as I love harvesting what we've grown ourselves in our garden, there is something about foraging and wildcrafting that feels so much more exciting. Last year we harvested wild salad greens, went hunting for chanterelles, harvested (a few) wild huckleberries, and dehydrated and froze flats upon flats of elderberries


My knowledge of wild edibles is slowly growing, and I love learning a little bit more every year. With Doug Benoliel's book, Northwest Foraging by my side, I love to go on walks and see what I can identify. Of course, the theme of today's post, DANDELIONS, no one probably really needs a book to help them recognize....


As I started looking into it, I was blown away by just how awesome dandelions are for our health. According to Gardens Ablaze

The humble little Dandelion has remarkable nutritional value, being very high in vitamins A and C, with more beta carotene than carrots and more potassium than broccoli or spinach, not to mention healthy doses of iron and copper for good measure. Medicinally, Dandelions are considered very safe and effective as a general tonic that helps strengthen the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and intestines, improving bile flow and reducing inflammation in cases of hepatitis and cirrhosis. Dandelions also help to dissipate gallstones and are believed to improve kidney function, thereby improving overall health and clearing skin problems.
Not only are dandelions good for us, but they are delicious. And, there are numerous ways to prepare them. I originally created this collection because I wanted to have one place I could refer back to that had all my favorite dandelion recipes. I hope that it has turned into something you will enjoy, too! 


Delicious Dandelions (A Recipe Round-Up)


***Drinks***


Dandelion Green Juice from So Let's Hang Out


***Eats***


Garlicky Greens + Farmers Egg
from One Beet
Dandelion Split Pea Soup
from LittleOwlCrunchyMomma
Dandelion Green Salad
from Divine Health

***Informational Posts***


Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots from Common Sense Homesteading


Where to find Dandelion?

This might seem like a silly question, considering that dandelions or so pervasive in almost every front lawn. However, just because it exists so readily, doesn't mean you should eat just any dandelion. I wouldn't recommend harvesting from any area unless you know exactly what sort of things are sprayed (or not sprayed) on or around it.

At Lost Valley I can walk out my front door and feel perfectly safe harvesting dandelions, but I wouldn't feel that same way in the city. When I lived in Eugene, I could often find dandelion at the Farmer's Market this time of year

For those of you who don't have access to your own dandelion crop, or have a farmer's market that happens to sell them, fear not! You can still enjoy the myriad health benefits of dandelions. There are excellent sources available online. Here are a few links to quality sources that I recommend:

Further Reading

If you live in the PNW I cannot recommend highly enough the book, Northwest Foraging by Doug Benoliel. It is a great introduction to foraging in our area with great pictures for easy recognition. 

If you are interested in books specifically on dandelions, here are a few I recommend: 

The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook: 148 recipes for dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, & roots. This is a great collection for anyone interested in learning more about dandelions and using them in their kitchen.


QuikGuide to: Dandelions is a short and sweet inexpensive Ebook that has a good amount of information about this awesome plant. 


The Dandelion Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body is another short and inexpensive Ebook that looks specifically at the medicinal uses that dandelions provides. 


Have you eaten dandelion before? What's your favorite way to prepare them?


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Photo sources for collage from Flickr- 1, 2, 3

Pearl and Poppy Shop Review and a $30 GIFT CERTIFICATE giveaway


Every once in a while there are people who come into your life that as soon as you meet them something just clicks. It's like, as Anne Shirley would say, you've met a kindred spirit. Well, that is how I feel about the momma I am going to introduce you to today. 

I first met Rebeca when I was working at a small family-owned, organic frozen yogurt shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was first and foremost impressed with the way Rebeca navigated parenthood with her wonderful, energetic little ones. She has such a grace and strength about her that I admire and respect. Rebeca's wonderful, genuine spirit just shines no matter who she is interacting with.

Well fast forward a few years later, though I no longer serve Rebeca and her beautiful family frozen yogurt, she and I have stayed in touch via the wonderful invention called the internet. And then I started a blog, and she started an Etsy shop. 


When Rebeca asked me to do a review of her Etsy shop, I was THRILLED. Take a look at her Etsy shop and you'll understand why. This is what she sent me for Little Owl



Now tell me, is that not the cutest hat you have EVER seen? I just love her stuff. 

Here are a few more examples of the sort of creations Rebeca makes: 


















These are just a few items. Be sure and check out Rebeca's Etsy site, Pearl and Poppy Shop and stop by her Facebook page and say hello. 

That's enough of me bragging about my friend. Here is what she has to say about herself:

I’m Rebeca; mama, wife, sojourner, creator, dreamer. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed making unique gifts for people I love. I’ve worked as a professional seamstress, sewing clothing for a local shop as well as selling my own creations at Eugene’s famous Saturday Market. I’m now a stay-at-home mom to my four children: Peregrine, Poppy, Raphael, and Pearl. I've spent the last twelve years pouring my creative energy into caring, teaching, and sharing life with them. Our home is filled with unique, high quality toys and clothing I’ve crafted for them over the years. I am inspired by the simplicity and timelessness of vintage children’s goods and enjoy mingling that with fresh, modern ideas to create items that are both classic and whimsical. We love to travel as a family and I also glean a lot of inspiration from different cultures and places we've been, as well as from the beauty of nature.

I am excited to be able to share my creations with a broader audience again. You can be assured that when you purchase from my shop, your item will be made with the same attention to detail and quality I use when creating gifts for my own family and friends. I start with high quality, natural materials and work carefully to ensure that my items will bring years of joy to your children, just like they have for mine. I love to repurpose and up-cycle fabric and am pleased to be able to offer many organic  items, sharing a commitment to minimizing my footprint on this earth and protecting our environment. Please feel free to contact me with custom requests. I would be happy to work with you to create something special for you or your loved one.


As a gift to LittleOwlCrunchyMomma readers, Rebeca is giving away a $30 gift certificate to her awesome shop. Good luck! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

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Vanilla extract is one of those things that you should always have on hand in your kitchen. It just adds that little bit of flavor to so many homemade goods that just make them shine. I first learned how to make my own vanilla extract from Marillyn over at just-making-noise. I pinned her recipe a long time ago, and finally got around to trying it months later. 

I can't believe I waited so long to try it! Really, making your own vanilla extract is probably one of the easiest things you will ever do in your kitchen. It's a small monetary investment at the beginning, but it QUICKLY plays off. Plus, when you make it yourself in a big batch like this, your much less likely to ever run out. 

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract 

Really, this is less like a recipe and more like simple instructions. The method is very simple. To start, make sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand. 



You Will Need:

Whole vanilla beans (find them here)
Glass bottles (this is the kind I used)
High-proof vodka

First, gently cut open your vanilla bean pods and scrape out the little gorgeous seeds. Place the seeds in your glass bottle. And then add in the pods. Cover with alcohol. Put lid on your glass gar. 



Leave it out somewhere so you can see it and shake it occasionally. When the alcohol has turned from clear to light brown, it's ready to use. This can take a few months as the alcohol draws out the flavor from the vanilla. 


A Few Things to Note


Why no specific ratios? I don't give specific ratios for the beans to alcohol because you really don't need any. I used about eight beans for a 16 oz. bottle but you could use more or less. The more you have in a bottle, the less time it will take. 

How to keep your vanilla extract going? You have two options: First, when your alcohol has turned brown from steeping in the bottle with the vanilla beans, you can pour out the extract and start over with the same beans (I would probably only do this once, maybe twice). Second, you can simply add more alcohol as you use up the vanilla extract, thus making your own "perpetual" vanilla extract. Just make sure you keep the beans covered, because they will mold otherwise. I prefer the second method, just because that way I never run out! Though I will use the first if I want to give my extract as gifts. 

Once you start making your own vanilla extract, you will wonder why you haven't been doing this your whole life. It's so simple, and you will save a lot of money. Plus, if you keep it going perpetually like I do, you'll never run out!


What is your favorite thing to make that uses vanilla extract?


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(Note: This post might contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop around after clicking on them, you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)
This post shared at: Natural Living MondayThank Goodness It's MondayHomestead Barn HopMix it Up Monday!Busy MondayMelt in Your Mouth MondayMouthwatering MondaysSweet Sharing MondayMostly Homemade MondaysShow Me What You GotWildcrafting WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdayGluten-Free WednesdaysHome-Making Link-UpWellness WednesdayReal-Food WednesdaysParty Wave WednesdayWorks for Me WednesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Mommy ClubSimple Lives ThursdayTickled PinkTasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdayThe Project StashPennywise PlatterSimple Meals FridayHealing With Food FridayNatural Family FridayUnprocessed FridaysFoodtastic FridayParty Brunch Link PartyFight Back Friday Friday FavsLink Party PaloozaLittle House Friday DIY LinkyFrom the Farm Friday, Get Real Link Party FridaysStrut Your StuffSavoring SaturdaysSimple Saturday