Help with Dandelion Wine

So, what's for dinner?
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Willow
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Help with Dandelion Wine

Post by Willow » Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:39 am

I found a recipe for dandelion wine, but I have a weird question. When picking the flowers do I use the whole head (including the green base) or just the yellow petals?

Also, is there a way to store the flowers? I am going to try and get out for the next round of dandelions but I am not sure if I will have time to make it all. Any suggestion?

1 package dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 quarts dandelion blossoms
4 quarts water
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped orange peel
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped lemon peel
6 cups sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside.
Wash the dandelion blossoms well. Put them in the water with the orange, lemon and lime juices. Add the cloves, ginger, orange and lemon peel, and sugar. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for an hour. Strain through filter paper (coffee filters work great). Cool. While still warm (but not hot), stir in the yeast.

Let stand overnight and pour into bottles. Allow uncorked bottles to set in a darkened place for three weeks. Then cork and store bottles in a cool place. Makes about 4 quarts.
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Crazy Healer Lady
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:17 am

The whole head of the flower, it seems, including the green base.

As for storing flowers, you can either hang them up to dry, or you can freeze them, or store them in your fridge :)
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Willow
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Post by Willow » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:10 am

OK, I was worried about keeping a piece of the stem, I have heard that part is poisonous.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:11 am

Dandelion is one of those amazing plants that make you wonder if it was dropped from heaven. O_O I am very sure no part of it is poisonous, but every part has so many health benefits!!
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by Kitsune » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:56 am

Oh, now I'm interested, more information on the healthful properties of Dandilions please. I've heard that juice can be used to remove warts, but I'm not certain if it's true. I love finding out the medicinal properties of plants.
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:48 am

Okay I cannot find the site I got this from!!! I do, however, have the author.
Dandelion - the Ubiquitous Forgotten Healer
By Sheelagh Mackenzie-Salas

Those dandelions you see blooming prodigiously outside your window have a history as colorful as their blooms. Dandelion is found in the materia medica of all the major herbal traditions. It occupies an important place in Chinese medicine, in Ayurvedic medicine and in European herbal medicine. Dandelion heals us in a number of different ways and with some easy manipulations it makes a great food.

The ability of dandelion to heal has been known by us for a vast expanse of time, probably since the dawn of humans and perhaps even before that. Dandelion, an honoured food and medicine, how did it drop so far in its status to become an annoying weed in our minds?

That story began in the late 1600's in Europe. Doctors were discovering a lot about the workings of the human body, the circulation of the blood for example. They felt that old ideas of how the body worked were archaic and university trained doctors turned their backs on herbal medicine. In a bid for power and control these doctors, along with the clergy of the church, began the movement to take healing out of the hands of the women and this eventually lead to the burning of what is estimated to be millions of women herbal healers and midwives. This tragic piece of human history very understandably made people reluctant to seek out herbal remedies, including the healing abilities of dandelion. Dandelion and all herbs as remedies were no longer mainstream in Europe.

But because so many people in Europe in the 1700 and 1800s still lived rurally and had little access to hospital care, herbal medicine still had grassroots loyalty. And in the mass movement of Europeans to the new world, settlers brought with them many herbs to use as medicines. Plantain, chickweed, St. Johns wort and dandelion were among these medicinal herbs, which served the pioneers well, in a land where doctors and markets were few, far between or non-existent. These plants proliferated as intently as the settlers themselves, and in the case of dandelion, reached the west coast ahead of the human migration.

Forests were cut down and agriculture grew and became more mechanized, huge monocultures created problems as well as lots of food. Most people couldn’t see the costs. One of the costs was that by the late 1960s small backyard gardens and tiny mixed farms were made obsolete by factory food. This is when the dandelion really took a beating. We were all supposed to expect "perfect food" from the supermarket and our lawns were supposed to be "perfect". Everyone was trying hard to eliminate dandelions from their lawns and flower gardens, from their sidewalks and their roof gutters. How quickly we forgot (were encouraged to forget) that dandelion was a food and a medicine.

Luckily, the dandelion, so incredibly prolific, stood its ground, small sentinels waving their yellow banners as if saying it’s not enough, all that poison, to kill us all, and we will stand peacefully waiting for you to listen.
Dandelion has the ability to heal us. The leaf and spring dug root is a powerful diuretic and so can be used to alleviate fluid congestion.It is also high in potassium which is a mineral often lost from the body when allopathic diuretics are used. The fall dug root is a bitter tonic which stimulates the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder. This increased bile flow increases the efficiency of digestion and acts as a laxative. The root or the whole plant (leaves and root) dug in the fall decrease enlarged liver, gallbladder and spleen. The inulin contained within the fall dug root is a blood sugar balancer and can be used in the treatment of adult onset diabetes. Dandelion root or whole plant can also be used as an antibacterial and antifungal medicine useful in the treatment of candida and other infections. The whole plant preparation is also known as a blood purifier or alterative which refers to the plants ability to alter the human system towards a state of balance and health.

As a food plant dandelion needs just a few adjustments, mainly to decrease its bitterness to be a fine food packed full of minerals and vitamins. Gather the leaves (which are less bitter and more tender before flowering), chop and boil in water for 5 minutes, change the water and boil again for 5 minutes. Drain and use the greens in any of your recipes that call for cooked spinach or nettles. Think lasagna, spanakopita, potato and dandelion and cheese patties. You can also use the raw greens in fresh juices like apple and carrot. Dandelion and ginger juice is very good. Marinated dandelion crowns can be made by collecting 20 crowns (the part where the root meets the leaf) clean and boil for 5 minutes, drain and add more water and boil for 5 more minutes. Cool and put in a bowl and add oil, vinegar or lemon juice, garlic and braggs or soya sauce and let sit for at least two hours or overnight and serve like marinated artichoke hearts.

Since dandelion blooms abound right now I cannot resist ending this article by giving you a recipe for dandelion wine.

1 gallon dandelion petals 4 lbs sugar
1 gallon water 1 tablespoon yeast
4 oranges 1 lb chopped raisins
2 lemons 1 slice of toast.
2 inches fresh ginger

Pinch the flowers from the heads. Place them in a pot, add the water and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and while still hot add the sugar, shredded ginger, shredded orange and lemon rinds and the juice of these fruits and the raisins. Stir and let cool. When nearly cool to room temp add a little water to the yeast to make a paste and spread that on the cold toast and float this in your liquid. Cover and leave for three days. Decant the liquid into a large jar and cover with a cheesecloth until bubbles almost stop, bottle and cork and let age for at least 8 months.
Crazy Healer Lady
Health and happiness to you!

The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Willow
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Post by Willow » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:19 am

That's awesome, thanks so much. Someone should give a class on cooking things from your own yard!
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Post by scoia » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:11 pm

My drying method is usually just scattering the gathered flowers on a large piece of board in semi direct light (away from pets or any breezes).

Then I turn them every couple of days, they dry out in just over a week if it's summer.

And I just have to say, I looooove dandelion wine. Good luck, let us know if the recipe is a good 'un.

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Re: Help with Dandelion Wine

Post by pheonix » Wed May 22, 2013 12:17 am

Yes dandelion has high nutritional values. My gradmother used to go out in the spring and pick young dandelion leaves for salad I think or cooked them, I cant remember quite well though, I was just a wee lass at the time, but she said that it was a spring tonic/detox..your cleaning everything else in the spring time better cleanse inside as well. Dandelion roots can also be used as a healthy caffeine free coffee substitute, which actually tastes pretty good. I know a lady from jersey who makes a delicious dandelion wine, I will have to get her recipe..I have been wanting to make some myself.

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