Save the Dandelion… It is all over Facebook as a warning to preserve the dandelions for bees. One post I saw stated that dandelion’s “are the very first food source for bees after a long winter”. That may very well be true, but save some of the dandelions for yourself too. These underutilized plants have so many qualities!
The Greens, the leaves, of the plant are incredibly nutritious. Use them in a salad for yourself or feed them to your chickens. They freeze well and I keep some on hand for winter coop boredom busters and added chicken nutrition. The roots to the plant and the dried heads of the flowers can be made into herbal teas.
Teas, food, all really great things, but my most favorite way to use dandelions is to dry the heads and infuse olive oil with the dried flowers. The oil can be used alone, but I like to turn it into a salve that I use on my hands, feet, forehead, aching muscles… as well as on my chickens’ combs.
Recently, I shared my recipe on Community Chickens for how I make Dandelion Salve. It is a simple process and oh so worth it…in my humble opinion.
Dandelion Infused Oil
- 1 cup Dried Dandelion Flowers (just the dried heads, more greens)
- 1 Pint Sized Mason Jar
- 1 pint Olive Oil (You will not use quite the full pint amount as you're are covering the dandelion flowers.)
You can also speed up the infusing process by placing your jar in a slowcooker. In your slowercooker, place a washcloth on the bottom, then your jar on top of that. Add water until the water covers about half way up the jar. Turn the setting to warm. Let infuse for 6-8 hours.
|Add dried flowers to the glass jar.|
|Pour the olive oil over the flowers. Leaving 1 inch of headspace in the jar.|
|Use a butter knife to stir and remove air bubbles.|
|Cap your jar and store in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight.|
|Shake jar once a day for 4-6 weeks.|