I am posting this recipes a bit early to tempt you. Before you know it lawns will be covered in dandelions beautiful bright yellow blossoms. We think of using the roots or leaves of this plant but there are so many uses for the flowers in things like fritters/tempura, wine, jelly, flan/quiche, cookies, and syrup. This gluten free cake has a lovely taste and nice texture. If you celebrate the spring equinox, Purim or Nauryz this dessert would suit all of those festivals well.
Gluten Free Dandelion Flower and Apple Cake
In a small bowl mix all of your wet ingredients……
1/2 cup of walnut oil
3/4 cup of honey
1 and 1/2 cup of shredded apple
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of milk or substitute
1/2 cup of dandelion flowers green parts removed
In a larger bowl add and mix your dry ingredients……
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
1tsp each of baking powder, baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of sugar
Pinch each of dried-star anise, clove, cardamon, ginger
Add your “wet” bowl to the “dry” bowl and mix until there are no lumps.
Grease, flour and line with parchment paper -a 9 inch springform cake pan. Pour in the cake batter and level. Let sit while you pre-heat your oven to 350.
Bake at 350 one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
Latin Name: Taraxacum officinaleFamily: AsterSubfamily: Cichoriodeae/Chickory
Taraxacum has yellow ray flowers that overlap all the way to the center. There is no round disk in the center like other plants in the aster family. The “petals” are straight and do not taper. It has bracts/modified leaves where the stem joins the flower instead of sepals. It has a hollow, round stem full of a white, latex like, sticky sap.There are related plants that look like dandelion (sap, yellow flowers etc.) BUT Dandelion has a reddish green , non branching stem that is 2-6 inches long (sometimes 18). The leaves do not grow off the stem, instead they grow around the base in a ring. There is one flower per stem .The leaves are very serrated like teeth , they get broader towards the top before ending in a point. Nothing about a dandelion is prickly or hairy. Single seeds look like a tiny parachute but together form a white fluffy ball.Habitat-lawns, parks, fields, waste land. Dandelion likes poor soil. Blooms and makes seeds all year round. One of the first flowering plants to appear in spring.Growing:will grown anywhere. Self seeds. No need to cultivate, it is an invasive but useful weed.Edible parts:Root, leaves, flower heads.Harvesting:Dandelion roots and leaves are most bitter in the spring, this is also when they have most medicinal qualities. Plants growing in the shade may be less bitter. Pick flowers mid morning when they are dry and have reached their biggest size. Wash well, the root may need to be scrubbed with a brush. When picking be aware of contamination from pets and pesticides/herbicides. Watch for bees, it is their favorite source of food right in the early spring.
Historically Dandelion has been used as a diuretic (water retention) and laxative (constipation). As a tonic it cleanses the blood/tissues/organs of wastes/toxins and clears heat. Dandelion is useful for skin disorders (acne, cysts, fibroids, poison ivy, rashes, eczema, abscesses etc.), hay fever, candida, allergies, varicose veins, gout, rheumatism, and weight loss. It cools heat (fever) , stimulates the immune system, and removes infection ( sinusitis, bronchitis, mastitis, hepatitis, herpes, and mono just to name a few) Internally Dandelion is best known for its action (astringent, tonic, stimulant) ) on the digestive system (gas, indigestion, appetite loss, heartburn, ulcers) the bladder ( urinary tract infection) liver (jaundice, cirrhosis) and gallbladder (gallstones) pancreas, spleen, and kidneys (kidney stones). Internally the flowers can be used for pain/anti-inflammatory (arthritis, cramps, headaches, and backache). Externally the flowers can be used for wounds and fungal infections. The sap from the stem is thought to remove warts.
Culinary uses- coffee substitute, wine, beer, syrup, jelly, baked goods, stir fry, juiced, pickles, and salad green just to name a few. Herbal products products-tea/infusion, tincture, oil/salve. The fresh leaves can be added to salads and soups or the dried to condiments to add a mineral source to the diet.
Parts Used: leaves, flowers, root
Energetics: bitter, sweet, cold, moist
Emotional/Spiritual Use-for cleansing, rejuvenation, reflection, stress/tension, fear, or hesitation. Promotes trust, openness, balance, ease and relaxation in those who overdue it or have perfectionist tendencies.
Contraindications: safe during pregnancy and nursing in small amounts. Because it is in the aster family, it may cause allergic reaction in people sensitive to those kinds of plants. The sap may cause contact dermatitis.