Like clockwork, this time of year, bright buttery buttons begin to bloom on green lawns and in meadows throughout Amish country. For many non-Amish in suburban America, dandelions are the scourge of lawns, a horrible weed. But for the Amish, dandelions are a delicacy to be savored.
I first started hearing about the wonder of dandelions from Amish friends years ago. Amish families harvest the leaves from young dandelions to enjoy in salads. The window of time to enjoy these greens is narrow, once the flowers bloom, the leaves begin to turn bitter. But if you are lucky enough to score some, you'll get a tasty seasonal salad. My Amish friends would always tell me the dandelion greens served with gravy and chopped boiled eggs provided the perfect elixir for a sound night's sleep if eaten late in the day. I've also been told the dandelions aid in digestion.
But there are plenty of other ways the Amish do use dandelions. In Amish culture, dandelions are commonly used for medicinal purposes, as well as for food and beverage.
I know of Amish parents and grandparents who will give the children empty plastic ice cream pails and send them off into the fields in search of dandelions. They'll pay the kids a penny or nickel per blossom and it becomes fun for everyone (or expensive depending on inflation!)
Here are 5 Ways The Amish Use Dandelions!
☕ Dandelion Coffee
In addition to the leaves, some Amish use dandelion roots to make a coffee substitute. The roots are roasted and ground to make a coffee-like beverage that is caffeine-free. Ugh, what is the point, I want my caffeine!
Many Amish collect dandelion blossoms for making a delicious jelly. I love dandelion jelly. It's a got a smooth, sweet, light, not overpowering taste. Yes, I have had peanut butter and dandelion jelly sandwiches before! You can order some of Mrs. Miller's Dandelion Jelly from our affiliate link below.
🍷 Dandelion Wine
Dandelion wine is a type of wine that can be made from the flowers. Some Amish communities and individuals may choose to make dandelion wine as a way to use the abundance of dandelions that grow in their area, while others may not make it at all.
I had some homemade dandelion wine once at an Amish home in the Berne, Indiana community and its some of the best wine I've ever had: smooth, calming. Many Amish swore up and down that a small dose of dandelion wine each day was all you needed to keep your health in check.
🥗 Dandelion Salad
Yes, dandelion salad, this is one of the favorite ways Amish people use these "weeds." The greens need to harvested while they are young and tender and therefore not bitter and then smothered with a warm bacon gravy. Chopped hard-boiled eggs are the final addition. This is a delicacy on Amish menus, but only for a month or two out of the year. Here is a recipe for the dandelion gravy/salad.
Take your favorite soup recipe and add tender dandelion greens to it. The greens will give the super a bit of bulk and color and the heat will release the dandelion's legendary medicinal qualities.
Amish herbalists have many other uses for dandelions, as tonics, digestive aids, and others. A skilled Amish herbalist schooled in generations of traditions appreciates the wonder of dandelions and so should you! At least try these 5 Ways The Amish Use Dandelions and see what you think!