Nature provides what we need at the right time. Eating seasonally is one of the best ways to stay balanced and aligned with Mother Nature and the seasons.
Spring is damp, moist and alive with rebirth. It is in this season that we start new projects, new loves and new visions. Spring signals the time when we must shed what is stagnant and toxic (both in our internal world and our physical bodies) so that we can move forward in our life with vitality and vigour.
Spring detox and spring cleaning are relevant for this reason. Spring is also the time of the liver in Chinese medicine and that is why detoxification that works on the liver is usually the focus. Additionally, during this time we begin to see dandelion leaves sprouting up from the rich, nourishing earth.
Dandelion is a plant that is excellent for helping to cleanse the liver and the kidneys, moving excess waste out of the body to prepare it for the summer months. One of the first plants that bears eat when coming out of hibernation is dandelion leaves. Dandelion is bitter and so it helps to flush the body of parasites, move stagnation, aids digestion and breaks up fat stores in the liver. It is great to help clear up acne (however, it can make this a bit worse before it gets better, this is the system clearing), inflammation and water retention. You can read more about Dandelion here.
In our western diet there is a serious deficiency of bitter tastes and because of this, we overeat sweet and salty. Ever wondered why coffee is so popular? It’s not just the caffeine, it’s also that it is bitter and the body is craving that taste. However, there are other ways to incorporate bitter tastes into your diet. One of them being GREENS! At this time of year, Dandelion is everywhere, it is young and the leaves are not as bitter as in the summer. I have created a recipe that you can make to incorporate this amazing plant into your diet.
Dandelion leaves are available in some grocery stores. You can harvest your own just be mindful that there are no contaminants in the area, no pesticides used and it’s not near roadways. Make it a priority to harvest from clean environments.
3/4 cup of Brazil nuts
2 Tbsp of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 avocado (pitted)
2 handfuls of dandelion leaves
1 handful of basil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 Tsp of turmeric (powder)
1/2 cup of water
salt and pepper
Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it!
You can use this pesto on pasta (penne is great too) like I have done below. You can also use the pesto as a bread spread or add it to hummus and make a pesto hummus. Dandelion pesto makes a great addition as a topper on soups or you can add it to any meal to get the bitter taste. If you are really not fond of bitter, you can add 2 handfuls of Basil leaves instead and add 1 handful of dandelion to make the proportion less and still get the benefit of this amazing plant.
Dandelion greens are excellent for balancing the Kapha dosha (Earth and Water elements in the body) and Pitta (Fire and Water). Characteristics of the Kapha dosha being out of balance are blood sugar issues, obesity, water retention, cysts etc. Characteristics of Pitta being out of balance are inflammation, excess heat, irritation, frustration, acne etc. I will be writing about each of the doshas in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned and enjoy the magic of dandelion!
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