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Eating Well With Whole Foods: Dandelion

by Suzann Pileggi Pawelski

With the advent of spring, our bodies naturally crave lighter cleansing foods to help break down the fats we’ve stored all year from eating a generally heavier diet throughout the winter. Spring is a great time to introduce natural detoxifiers like dandelions into your diet. Perhaps best known as a pesty backyard weed in America, the dandelion is a well-loved edible green used throughout the world as a natural liver enhancer. The leaves and root are often prepared into a bitter tea to help cleanse the liver, the most overtaxed and underappreciated digestive organ. A natural diuretic, and blood cleanser, the dandelion root helps clear blockages of the spleen, pancreas, gallbladder and kidneys. It is extremely beneficial for indigestion, assimilation and elimination by balancing enzymes in the stomach and intestines. Fresh dandelion leaves and dried root are valuable additions to a diet for people with diabetes and hepatitis.

Inherently bitter, dandelions can be enjoyed raw or cooked. If they’re picked in the spring before their flowers blossom they are naturally less bitter and are ideal in salads. Dandelions are also delicious sautéed with olive oil and garlic or served with cheese, tomatoes and bread which helps offset their natural bitterness.

Dandelion Detox Spring Salad

  • 1 handful of dandelion greens
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh raw peas
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 daikon radish, thinly sliced
  • 4 ripe strawberries, sliced
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Lightly toss the dandelion, mint, peas, celery, radish and strawberries together in a bowl.

Sprinkle with a splash of olive oil, some fresh lemon, and a pinch of sea salt.

Suzann Pileggi is a certified holistic health counselor. She works with clients on nourishing their body and soul by helping them make better food and lifestyle choices. She uses food to naturally increase energy, control cravings and create a balanced lifestyle. She conducts special sugar seminars at Radu's Physical Culture gym in NYC. Visit her website at www.suzannpileggi.com , email her at suzannpileggi@aol.com, or call her at (646) 265-9055 for a FREE initial holistic health consultation. Phone consultations and group seminars available.

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