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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

One of our most famous, easily recognizable, “weed” is now found on the shelves of some super market. You can buy dandelion leaves! Pay dollars for it. Really. You might as well start harvesting what is growing everywhere from early spring to late fall. According to research dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese. You can eat the leaves raw in salad, best if harvested early on as they will get bitter when they get older, and you can blanch the older ones to get rid of that bitterness. The roots can be dried and roasted for use as a coffee substitute. The buds and petals can be eaten as well. A little of this and that added to your salad mix  not only brings flavor but boosts nutrition value and makes your dinner plate beautiful.