- 147 mg of calcium
- 244 mg of potassium
- 203 mg of Vitamin K
- 19% of daily recommended allowance for iron & 28% of the DRA for Vitamin C
- Over 10,000 IUs of Vitamin A! (Third richest of all foods after cod liver oil and beef liver!)
(Source: Jonny Bowden's 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth)
Furthermore, dandelions are:
- Easy to grow :)
- One of the first vegetables to appear in the spring, and again in the fall
So why waste this incredible source of nutrition, shown to be great at detoxifying the liver and increasing bile flow? Why spray nasty herbicides to get rid of a valuable vegetable? Instead, you could (carefully wash the leaves and then) throw the leaves in your mixed green salad, put it in your minestrone or omelet, and juice it up with some lemon and apples. AND you can treat the root like a carrot - put it in stir fries, soups, or sautee it up with some garlic and onions.
OK - so I admit there is a reason not to eat it. Some dandelion leaves taste pretty bitter. In fact, to prepare for this post, I sauteed up a batch with olive oil and lemon - and couldn't finish it all. Too bitter! But, then, this morning I juiced a cup of dandelion leaves with a sprig of mint, 1/2 a lemon, and an apple - and yum! The bitterness gave the juice a nice edge. I plan to use the leaves in small portions, as part of bigger meals. It seems they are so incredibly nutritious that even a little bit is beneficial (sort of like parsley).
But wait! Don't kill that purslane either! Also treated as a weed by confused lawn-owners, purslane has the highest omega-3 concentration of any green leafy vegetable. Also 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and 2,000 IUs of vitamin A in a cup. Full disclosure: I haven't tried purslane yet.
Hey, I'm a novice gardener, and I like a plant that grows easy, propogates itself, and has few diseases or pests to bother it. And in case I'm ever down to wheat berries and rice in my food storage, I know where to get my vitamins - from my lawn.