Tis the season for harvesting that super nutritious and medicinal powerhouse—dandelion root! According to herbalist Susun Weed, dandelion roots are best harvested in late fall when they are sweetest and highest in medicinal potency.
And while they’re mostly used in tinctures and teas for their many amazing health benefits, my favourite seasonal way to enjoy their superfood goodness is in delicious sweet treats that are sooo good for you—they’re practically guilt free.
Here are just a few reasons your body will thank you for including dandelion root in your baking!
- Rich in vitamins A, C, and E as well as B-complex vitamins, choline, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, biotin and calcium.
- High in antioxidants, healthy fatty acids and phytonutrients that fight free radicals, provide anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.
- Helps to soothe arthritis and joint pain.
- Helps restore the proper function of the metabolism and optimizes a range of functions from digestion, assimilating nutrients to supporting the liver and kidneys and improving their ability to eliminate waste.
- Contain inulin, a natural probiotic which promotes digestion and relieves digestive disorders by balancing beneficial bacteria in the intestines
- Promising new research is suggesting dandelion root may even contain cancer-killing properties.
Harvesting Dandelion Root:
While finding dandelion root is pretty easy, make sure you’ve located a spot that is not likely to be contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides. Look for larger plants, 2nd-year plants are best.
Cut in deep around the centre of the plant, making a circle with a sharp tool or trowel, then pull up the roots from the dirt. You’ll need to wash these thoroughly, peel off the worst dark spots and bumps, and then whir up in the food processor for use in the following recipe.
And if you can’t find any (how can that be?!) dried dandelion root can be bought at the herb store and ground in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. You’ll just add this powder to your recipe.
Chocolate Rose & Dandelion Root Energy Bites
Makes about 1 dozen
- 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh dandelion root (or 1 tablespoon dried root powder)
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all ingredients well into a wet dough (it will be very sticky)
- Form into little balls best you can and place in mini-cupcake tins
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes
- Cool and serve!