Dandelion Leaves

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Dandelion is a relative of sunflowers. Dandelion leaves are one of the finest veggies and spring tonics. They are actually the most nutritious leafy vegetable, even better than broccoli.(See charts on this page below).

The greens have a slightly bitter taste. They can be used in a salad and they make a tasty herb tea. Because of their health benefits, I try to use them as often as possible, such as putting them in stir fry recipes and sometimes sprinkling them in soup. But I use this dandelions and eggs recipe most often.

Getting the dandelion leaves is one of the spring funs for me, providing a reason to forage.

I love foraging. I remember the pleasure of picking up mushrooms when I was a child. Now living in a city, the foraging opportunity is rare. However, dandelions are everywhere as long as there is soil. Its resilience makes it a common presence and becomes the object of herbicide. If you pick the dandelion leaves on lawns, the roadside and/or public trails, you may pick up the chemicals too.

Fortunately, I have a small garden and because I'm often busy, it has been allowed to grow there organically. With the anticipation of the upcoming delicious dish, the thrill of the find and the pleasure of getting free gifts from nature makes this outdoor activity more endearing.

When gathering dandelion leaves, focus on the young green ones. When there are flowers, the energy moves up to the blossom and the greens become quite bitter. It may be good though, if you want to use it as an herb instead of a veggie.

Here are the nutrition facts about dandelion leaves:

1 cup raw Vit. A
Daily Value
Vit. K
Daily Value
Calcium
Daily Value
Iron
Daily Value
Dandelion Greens 2712 IU
54%
151 mcg
188%
103 mg
10%
1.7 mg
9%
Broccoli 581 IU
12%
89.4 mcg
112%
41.4 mg
4%
0.6 mg
4%
Compare with Broccoli

 

The following data were searched from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:

Dandelion Leavess, Raw

Refuse: 0%  
Scientific Name:  Taraxacum officinale
NDB No: 11207 (Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion)

Nutrient Units Value per
100 grams
1.00 X 1 cup, chopped
-------
55g
Proximates
Water
g
85.60
47.08
Energy
kcal
45
25
Energy
kJ
188
103
Protein
g
2.70
1.49
Total lipid (fat)
g
0.70
0.39
Ash
g
1.80
0.99
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
9.20
5.06
Fiber, total dietary
g
3.5
1.9
Sugars, total
g
0.71
0.39
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg
187
103
Iron, Fe
mg
3.10
1.71
Magnesium, Mg
mg
36
20
Phosphorus, P
mg
66
36
Potassium, K
mg
397
218
Sodium, Na
mg
76
42
Zinc, Zn
mg
0.41
0.23
Copper, Cu
mg
0.171
0.094
Manganese, Mn
mg
0.342
0.188
Selenium, Se
mcg
0.5
0.3
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
35.0
19.2
Thiamin
mg
0.190
0.104
Riboflavin
mg
0.260
0.143
Niacin
mg
0.806
0.443
Pantothenic acid
mg
0.084
0.046
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.251
0.138
Folate, total
mcg
27
15
Folic acid
mcg
0
0
Folate, food
mcg
27
15
Folate, DFE
mcg_DFE
27
15
Choline, total
mg
35.3
19.4
Vitamin B-12
mcg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin B-12, added
mcg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin A, RAE
mcg_RAE
508
279
Retinol
mcg
0
0
Carotene, beta
mcg
5854
3220
Carotene, alpha
mcg
363
200
Cryptoxanthin, beta
mcg
121
67
Vitamin A, IU
IU
10161
5589
Lycopene
mcg
0
0
Lutein + zeaxanthin
mcg
13610
7486
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg
3.44
1.89
Vitamin E, added
mg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
mcg
0.0
0.0
Vitamin D
IU
0
0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
mcg
778.4
428.1
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated
g
0.170
0.094
4:0
g
0.000
0.000
6:0
g
0.000
0.000
8:0
g
0.000
0.000
10:0
g
0.000
0.000
12:0
g
0.000
0.000
14:0
g
0.009
0.005
16:0
g
0.145
0.080
18:0
g
0.007
0.004
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
g
0.014
0.008
16:1 undifferentiated
g
0.000
0.000
18:1 undifferentiated
g
0.014
0.008
20:1
g
0.000
0.000
22:1 undifferentiated
g
0.000
0.000
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
g
0.306
0.168
18:2 undifferentiated
g
0.261
0.144
18:3 undifferentiated
g
0.044
0.024
18:4
g
0.000
0.000
20:4 undifferentiated
g
0.000
0.000
20:5 n-3 (EPA)
g
0.000
0.000
22:5 n-3 (DPA)
g
0.000
0.000
22:6 n-3 (DHA)
g
0.000
0.000
Cholesterol
mg
0
0
Other
Alcohol, ethyl
g
0.0
0.0
Caffeine
mg
0
0
Theobromine
mg
0
0

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010)

Dandelion Leaves, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, With Salt

Refuse: 0%  
NDB No: 11782 (Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion)

Nutrient Units Value per
100 grams
1.00 X 1 cup, chopped
-------
105g
Proximates
Water
g
89.80
94.29
Energy
kcal
33
35
Energy
kJ
138
145
Protein
g
2.00
2.10
Total lipid (fat)
g
0.60
0.63
Ash
g
1.20
1.26
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
6.40
6.72
Fiber, total dietary
g
2.9
3.0
Sugars, total
g
1.62
1.70
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg
140
147
Iron, Fe
mg
1.80
1.89
Magnesium, Mg
mg
24
25
Phosphorus, P
mg
42
44
Potassium, K
mg
232
244
Sodium, Na
mg
280
294
Zinc, Zn
mg
0.28
0.29
Copper, Cu
mg
0.115
0.121
Manganese, Mn
mg
0.230
0.242
Selenium, Se
mcg
0.3
0.3
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
18.0
18.9
Thiamin
mg
0.130
0.137
Riboflavin
mg
0.175
0.184
Niacin
mg
0.514
0.540
Pantothenic acid
mg
0.057
0.060
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.160
0.168
Folate, total
mcg
13
14
Folic acid
mcg
0
0
Folate, food
mcg
13
14
Folate, DFE
mcg_DFE
13
14
Choline, total
mg
27.6
29.0
Vitamin B-12
mcg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin B-12, added
mcg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin A, RAE
mcg_RAE
727
763
Retinol
mcg
0
0
Carotene, beta
mcg
8727
9163
Carotene, alpha
mcg
0
0
Cryptoxanthin, beta
mcg
0
0
Vitamin A, IU
IU
14544
15271
Lycopene
mcg
0
0
Lutein + zeaxanthin
mcg
3398
3568
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg
0.60
0.63
Vitamin E, added
mg
0.00
0.00
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
mcg
0.0
0.0
Vitamin D
IU
0
0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
mcg
358.9
376.8
Lipids
Cholesterol
mg
0
0

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010)

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