Tag Archives: featured

dandelion flower oil

Pesky Weed or Beautiful Loser? A Dandelion Flower Oil Answer

Part 1 of 2: Dandelion Oil Preparation

dandelion-oil--making-supplies

What you will need: oil, glass jar with lid, plastic bag, dandelions

There are so many uses for Dandelion plant, and the flowers are the most labour intensive, but therefore the most rewarding.  They are such a sunshine flower that they literally curl up and close when it rains out and open to the sun when it shines again.  Here’s the instructions for the making of a simple and lovely oil that can be used topically for many things.  (more on this later)

dandelion-bowl-of-happiness

Dandelion leaves, flower heads and plucked petals

You can find dandelions everywhere, with the flowers in early spring.  They didn’t originate here (Canada), they were “imported” via the ships bearing European people and seeds long ago, but they sure have taken over.  Instead of griping about ’em, let’s eat ’em!

Dandelion Driveway

I figure the harder a weed fights to grow somewhere, the more strength it has to pass on to me.

 Step 1:  Pick the flower heads, as many as you can.

Wildcrafting rules need not apply as there are always enough dandelions to reproduce, and they don’t exactly grow in the wild, they grow in previously used soil.

Step 2: Separate the petals from the green parts

This is the time consuming bit, but the green is where the bitter lies, and the flowers by themselves actually have a sweet scent and flavour.  (unlike the bitter leaves)

dandelion-petals-twist

De-greening the dandelion flower

dandelion-petals-after-twist

Grab all the yellow parts and give them a twist to separate from the green holder at the base of the flower

dandelion-petals-scissor-snip

Use scissors if you prefer, but you might find a little more green left behind.


dandelion-petals-after-scissor-snip

yay-dandelion-fingers

Plus no fun yellow fingertips!

Step 3: Fill clean glass jar with dandelion petals

I sterilize mine by pouring boiling water over it, letting it dry then a little vodka rinse for good measure.  Loosely pack the petals almost to the top.

fill-bottle-with dandelion-petals

Loosely fill jar to the top with dandelion petals (pictured here 3/4 full)

Step 4: Fill with oil

Olive oil is a nice choice, it has preservative qualities, the golden yellow merges with the blossoms nicely and if you buy quality organic (or at least extra-virgin) you can eat it later.  It’s a little heavy for use on the skin of the face, but I personally love the moisturizing qualities of it.

dandelion-fill-with-oil

Fill to the top (again) with oil.

 

Step 5: Stir to prevent bubbles

Use something non-reactive such as a wooden chopstick to make sure there are no bubbles hanging about… It can spoil faster if there is air or extra moisture trapped in the oil.

stir-dandelion-oil-wooden

Stir gently to get air bubbles out as they can cause oxidation of the final product

Step 6: Cut out insert for the lid

I re-use plastic bags for this, but wax paper would work.  This is to prevent the metal from the lid interacting with the oil.

plasic-cover-dandelion-oil

Use a plastic bag or wax paper as a barrier between the metal lid

Step 7: Close lid tight and let sit from 3-6 weeks.

That’s right, there is no exact science here, the longer you leave it the stronger it will be, but as it is a gentle oil to begin with, trust your instincts on this one.  (but resist the temptation to peek at it after the first day or so*)

*you might want to check after the first day and top it off with more oil, as the contents may settle and we don’t want extra air space at the top.

dandelion-oil-capped

Ta da!

dandelion-oil-steeping

Put it in a cool dark place to steep for 3-6 weeks.

Step 8: Check back here for the results!

In a few weeks: Straining the dandelion oil and what you can do with your new concoction.

 

 

violet flower sake cocktail

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #3: Bloody Caesar

Ok, so many of you might complain that this is cheating, but… so far it is one of the more successful sneaks.  You don’t even have to hide it!  You do however need to add Vodka.

Caesar, where have you been all my life?

Lime Wedge

  • rim the glass, (hey, none of that!!)  I simply mean run the lime around the edge to wet it……
  • squeeze and drop wedge into the glass (or garnish)
  • vit C, enzymes, lovely sour for that chinese medicine taste protocol, and well, it’s green?

Celery Salt

  • Here’s where I win!  For much cheaper, you can buy whole celery seeds and mortor & pestle or grind them up with coarse sea salt (see my tip #1:) and get creative!
  • Seaweed, pepper flakes from the garden – hand dried by needle and thread – or maybe chipotle?!  You see what I mean.
  • Just powder ’em all up and dump on a clean surface, then dip the edge of the limed-up glass in it so it sticks to the edge

Ice

  • hey!  It’s still H2O, water, hydration and all…
  • fill glass, whatever glass you use

1oz vodka

  • the cleanest of the alcohols, the only one allowed by naturopaths if you are on a candida diet (shhhhhh…)
  • sugarless, grain free*

*Interesting fact though, check the label… in my liquor store I could only find ONE brand made from potatoes.. I thought that was the basic premise behind Vodka!  But most of them are “winter grains” or wheat.  It’s distilled all the same, but STILL!  (pun intended)

bunch of Wort sauce, Worteshire, Worticheshire (who the hell named this?)
– a scoop on what’s inside 
Worcestershire

  • shake it like a polaroid picture
  • i’m sorry for the above bullet point
  • its got fishies!!! heh.  (!vegan warning!)
  • apparently it’s the British answer to Vietnamese Fish Sauce
  • savoury and best not to think about the rest…
  • the real stuff is fermented, and that is good for the digestion and absorbtion of many minerals and vitamins

Tobasco,

  • they say 2 dashes, I say 5+
  • I figure any chili sauce will do, made with vinegar
  • chili’s – if not messed with – are high in the vit C area too
  • pep up that digestive fire, warm up your cold nights

4oz Clamato Juice (spicy)

  • !redundant vegan warning!
  • spicy, clams, veggies, tomato paste, etc…
  • I’m sure on some bottle, somewhere, there is a claim for “{some number here} servings of veggies!”
  • clam broth, it’s gotta be good for something!
  • vit A (according to my label)

Pour into glass.

Add more celery salt, or salt and pepper.

Garnish

  • this is the super veggie bonus addition round
  • half a celery stick
  • olives
  • asparagus for those fussy adventurous types
  • ideas?

My fuss-pot eater requests these, and has even bothered to learn how to make them!  I figure, what’s an ounce of vodka compared to all that other craziness?  Just don’t get in the habit of drinking them as your salad course.  I mean it.

Carrot man

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #1: Sea Salt

Do you, like me, have a pretty good working knowledge of nutrition, opinions to spare, a strong belief that you are, in fact, what you eat…

…and someone(s) in your life who couldn’t care less?

Well, after much lamenting, cajoling, mentoring, throwing up handing, and finally saying “fine, eat what you like i’m putting seaweed in my dinner dammit!” -ing, I have come up with a few tricks to appease my sense that time is running out to stuff adequate nutrition into another human being.  Because, lets face it, it ain’t my body, so I really don’t have the right to feel put out by it all.

Educate, don’t Berate!  (is that how the saying goes?)

IN THE MEANTIME:

#1. Spruce up the Salt

One good thing about fussy eaters, is that they are usually also too lazy to remedy a situation unless it is very uncomfortable.  So, get yourself a salt shaker that is also a grinder, some unrefined course sea salt (grey if you can get away with it) and some seaweed of your choice.  Mix it all together and pour into grinder.  Then, get rid of any other salt options in the house.  If they want to saltify, they must grind!  I haven’t actually had any complaints, as it really does just taste salty.

TIPS:

grinder:  if you can afford ceramic parts, great, they don’t rust.  If not, plastic or stainless steel will do the job.  If you can’t find one easily, you can buy one of those specialty salts in any grocer to start with and then just keep refilling it with your own mix.
salt:  get the biggest course salt you can find, if it is damp (high quality) you might need to spread it out on something (pan, towel, board) and dry it out first.  The grey colour is because it hasn’t been bleached or refined and it still contains all those tasty trace minerals that we actually need.  They also help minimize the damage excess salt causes in the body.  After all, we came from the sea originally right?

seaweed:  This is all preference… As I am lazy, I buy Dulse flakes, which are already cut up for you and mix well with salt.  I’ve also used Alaria, which come in black strands and breaks up nicely when dry.  Kelp gives you a littel extra calcium and Nori a little extra protein.  Use your imagination!

So, don’t do the salty dance of guilt, just spruce* your salt up!

*you know you Can eat spruce needles (or at least make vit. C rich tea outa them), but you might find the taste a little strong and distracting for salt…