author jessica james makes dandelion tea


Healthy homemade tea

I hope you and yours are staying healthy, staying home—and staying sane! Here in Pennsylvania, the stay-at-home order has been in effect since the end of March. It hasn’t changed my daily commute from the bedroom to my writing chair very much, but I know others are having a rough time dealing with the “new normal.”

With a little extra time on my hands, I tried something new that I will have to attribute to “quarantine fever.” After  hearing about the great dietary benefits of dandelions, I decided this was the year to check it out.

author jessica james makes dandelion tea

I ended up only using about 10 of the flowers for my cup of tea, but I picked a bunch.

Yes, I said dandelions.

What most people consider a nuisance and a backyard weed is actually a healthy herb that humans have been using for much of recorded history. The plant contains considerable amounts of vitamins A, C, K, and B, plus minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and choline.

Every part of the “weed” is edible and healthy. The flowers can be used in drinks and baking, the leaves in salads, and the roots roasted to use as a coffee substitute.

I’ve heard of making dandelion wine, but I decided to try something easy—dandelion tea. This warm drink offers great liver cleansing benefits and helps prevent urinary tract infections.

author jessica james makes dandelion tea

Removing the green (bitter) part of the flower is the most tedious part of the process.

Dandelion tea can be made from the root, the leaves, or the flowers. Since I just happened to have some young, fresh yellow flowers in my yard, I decided to make the tea from the flowers.

First, I picked about a dozen flowers. Then, after watching a video on YouTube, I pulled away the fine green leaves holding the flower on the stem. (Which they say makes it very bitter).

After boiling water, I poured it over the loose flowers in a strainer, covered it with a lid, and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. The resulting tea was predictably yellow, and tasted like…well….dandelions.

Okay, yes, after all this, I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy it very much. I later read that I could have added honey or maple syrup or cinnamon. Maybe that would have helped?

author jessica james makes dandelion tea

This is the color of the tea after steeping for about 15 minutes.

Anyway, I enjoyed some time outside picking those lovely (??) yellow flowers — and got rid of some dandelions at the same time.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to stay busy or to keep your mind off the current state of affairs. Reading? Watching movies?

May I suggest some dandelion tea? Cheers!


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