|Tea Set from The White Approach|
As my new-found passion for foraging consumes me, I thought I'd better nip out into the garden quick-smart before the Old Man got his mower out and annihilated everything in his path.
There is something strangely twisted about me that I should choose to start consuming dandelions on the same week as we attempt 'dry-night' training with Ruby - they are known as pissenlit after all.
The diuretic effects of this plant are well known, but did you also know that the white sappy liquid you get from the stalks is supposed to cure warts. The plant is also good for liver and bladder disorders, gallstones, and due to it's high iron content, is beneficial to anaemics.
Drinking dandelion tea is said to be good for eczema and other skin complaints. Dandelion root is even reputed to help sufferers of PCOS.*
*I am NOT a qualified homoeopathist, so please do not take my advice before you go self-medicating on weeds. Do your homework first folks.
With all that good stuff going for it, I thought it was only right to whip up a batch of cookies. All the recipes I found for them were much of a muchness, except they all called for honey which I detest. I know, I wish I could like it, I've tried honestly, but it's just vile. I substituted honey for agave syrup, but the cookies still tasted a little bitter, so next time I think I'll add some golden syrup too.
You will need:
half cup of vegetable oil
half cup of agave nectar/golden syrup or honey if you like the freaky taste - or a combo of these
2 large free range eggs
few drops of vanilla extract
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup porridge oats
half cup of dandelion petals
Pick the flowers when they are in full bloom and the sun is shining. Wash well, then remove the petals (the green base of the flower is very bitter). Hold the green part pinched between thumb and forefinger and twist the petals off with the other hand.
Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius/gas mark 5.
Add all your ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir together until combined.
Drop a tablespoon of the mixture onto greaseproof paper on a baking sheet to form each cookie. They will spread a little so leave space between each one. This recipe will make approximately 20 cookies.
Bake in the oven for around 12 minutes, until the outer edges start to turn brown.
Best eaten warm!
These make soft cookies, rather than crunchy, crumbley biscuits. The taste is a little unusual but they are very moreish and we all loved them.
Buoyed up by this success, I decided that they would be perfect served with dandelion tea. To make this, you need dried, fresh young leaves. Now, I don't have a fancy-pants de-humidifier, so I laid them out on a tray and popped them in the oven for a few hours on the lowest setting.
Pour over freshly boiled water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Sit back and sip, remembering all the good things it's doing for your body...
I'm not gonna lie to you, it tasted disgusting. I'd imagined it would taste kind of grassy (that's the lawn variety, people) but in actual fact it taste like warm seaweed to me. The Other Half commented that it tasted vaguely fishy. Whatever, there was certainly something of the ocean about it, which is odd because we're about as far away from the coast as you could possibly get. I had to give in and sweeten mine before I could drink it. It's safe to say it won't be replacing my cup of builder's tea any time soon, but I will be making the biscuits again.
If you liked this post, check out my other wild food recipes: