As we enter the last few weeks of winter, it's time to start to making some slow preparations for the warmer weather coming in spring. Whether that be cleaning and organising your home, weeding and pruning your garden or preserving excess winter vegetables or citrus.
Fermenting at this time of year is ideal as the pickles, krauts and dressings will be ready in time for spring meals. Preserving and fermenting your own foods is not only sustainable and affordable but also good for your gut health. As part of our SLOW series this month — with a focus on sustainability, we share a recipe from naturopath, herbalist and nutritionist Amanda Callen who has found a use for dandelion flowers (often considered prolific garden weeds) into a nourishing spring salad dressing.
This is the time of year where we begin to notice an abundance of yellow flowers with thick green leaves reaching towards the mild sun. Dandelions. These flowers are often considered a weed as they like to grow in lawny areas. They are known to have the ability to replenish depleted soil as the roots reach deep into the ground, and they also have the power to replenish depleted people due to the high level of natural antioxidants they have. Dandelions are easily one of the most nutritious late winter and early spring plants, they are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, phosphorus and full of natural potent antioxidants. Their naturally bitter taste increases saliva which helps to breakdown carbohydrates and gets the digestive system working. The high amount of beta-carotene provides a strong protection against cellular damage and oxidative stress so they are a great thing to add to your diet to cleanse and refresh for a new season.
To Make the dandelion dressing:
- Pick enough dandelions to fill approximately a third of your jar. Trimming the flower heads off the stems as you go.
- Wash thoroughly under cool water and place back in the bottom of the jar.
- A fresh sprig of rosemary or two of rosemary and a small handful of peppercorns.
- Cover the flowers and herbs with apple cider vinegar (or any other vinegar you have on hand).
- Set aside in a cool place for six weeks.
- Give the jar a gentle shake every few days.
This dressing is delicious for dressing greens, salads, grains and roast veggies.