It is day 50 something of the Washington state COVID-19 stay at home order, and life is looking different for not only us Washingtonians but for all of humanity. As I walk down the street in my neighborhood, I see folks planting their first gardens, taking their dogs on a walk, and simply accepting the healing rays of the sun from the comfort and safety of their front yards. As I was cleaning up my own garden area, I was inspired by the bright yellow saturated blossoms of dandelions, something that we might not have acknowledged if it wasn’t for explorations being limited to our backyards.
Among many other benefits, dandelion tea is densely packed with vitamins and antioxidants, aids in digestion, detoxes the liver, and even helps to fight diabetes. You can use many parts of the plant and the root system that plugs it into the earth, but I thought I would share the simplest way to make backyard dandelion tea for one.
- Pick your dandelion blooms, 5-10 per cup of tea. I like to simply pluck the fluffy yellow blossom from the stem, and toss them into a basket or mason jar.
- Rinse your dandelions, and be sure to inspect them for discoloration and insects.
- Remove the green nub on the bottom that attaches the blossom to the stem. The green parts can be used, but I find that it gives the tea a less than lovely bitter taste. Instead, remove all of the green- you should end up with a bit of yellow “fluff” when detached. Pack this fluff into a stainless-steel tea ball steeper or a teabag and set to the side.
- Boil water and pour into a mug of your choice.
- Steep your tea ball or bag in the hot water for 5-8 minutes, or until it reaches a yellow toned hue.
- Add stevia leaf or honey to sweeten to your liking. You can also refrigerate the tea, and squeeze in lime or lemon juice to give it more of a zesty flavor.
Tip- If you don’t have a tea ball steeper or empty tea bag, you can simply throw the whole dandelion heads into a bowl of hot water and steep that way, straining the flowers before pouring.
The beauty of this season is that we may find opportunities and exploration in things we otherwise overlook. Thanks for reading and until next time, you can find me poking around in my backyard.