Time to roundup those dandelions.

I enjoyed a batch of the homemade, home-foraged juice and hit the road for the three-hour drive from Redstone to Fraser. I didn’t get far before I had to pull over in a hurry.

This is probably too much information but I have come to appreciate what a powerful diuretic dandelions are. By the time I got to Copper Mountain I was doing the potty dance while going 70! I had to head for a secluded spot under a bridge. Without getting too specific about the calisthenics required to hold back, I had to pull over a couple more times emergency-style, all the while wondering what had gotten into me.

It dawned on me that it was the local plant juice. My urgency was the effect of dandelion, nettle and thistle juice, freshly harvested and mixed in a blender. I had enjoyed this concoction after my morning coffee and a bit of toasted seed bread. Healthy.

Dandelions are more potent and powerful than you think, and different parts of the plant do different, potent and powerful things. They are not poppies, but they are a force to be reckoned with. After last week’s rains the little lions are popping up their heads all over in Redstone, and now it’s time for harvest and to make daisy chains.

I haven’t been in the Fraser Valley long and as I write this at the end of April I cannot find a single dandelion. They will be here soon enough so you better get ready.

Let’s get started. The internet is full of bogus information, but the purveyors of nature, nature products and alternative medicines all sing the praises of the humble dandelion. Once you are up on the latest you will be skipping the processed foods and processing and eating your own dandelions.

I hear you. They taste like s–t! I’m getting to that. I will remind you now that eating something that doesn’t taste good for a powerful effect is nothing new to mankind. Anyone who’s ever eaten a psychedelic mushroom knows exactly what I’m talking about. They gag you!

Just like ’shrooms, there are ways to masticate dandelions without hurling. Instead of covering everything in chocolate you have to do two things: Develop a taste for foraged foods and find ways to fit them into recipes so they don’t take over your favorite flavors.

Why bother? Health benefits. Dandelion advocates, prescribers, pontificators and producers say that some of the side benefits include, but are not limited to, weight loss, relief from depression, headaches, menstrual and stomach cramps, improved vision, preventing skin infections, promoting blood circulation, treatment of corns, warts, kidneys, gall bladders, constipation, edema, acne, jaundice and more.

Disclaimer: Everyone dies, even those who follow a strict dandelion regimen.

The root is the most potent plant part. They say getting to the root produces a steady evacuation of toxins from the body. Who could be against that? Just make sure you are near a bathroom because the root makes you pee. The French called the little puffball plants “Pis-in-let,” which can be translated as “wet the bed.” The good news is that this dandy diuretic does not cause depletion of potassium like all the other diuretics in your medicine cabinet.

Just like other natural products that are everywhere and free, clock flowers can be purchased in processed, potent forms on Amazon. Tinctures and dried roots are but a few clicks away.

I would never consider consuming these produced plant products because Irish daisies are everywhere, even on lawns covered in Roundup. That’s why sourcing is important. You don’t want plants covered in pesticides and poisons. Those are already available in the national chain supermarkets.

I like to go into the local woods where the little swine snouts have a nice balance with other foragables like mallow, mushrooms and nettle. Try the Experimental Forest.

A nice way to show off for friends is to make dandelion fritters. Here’s the recipe:

  1. Make your favorite savory pancake batter.
  2. Dip young golden heads in the batter, leaving the stem attached.
  3. Drop coated flowers onto a cast-iron skillet until golden brown.
  4. Serve with some side dipping sauces, from sweet to spicy to salty.

Guests can grab the stem and pop the browned and delicious heads into some dip and into their watery mouths. Display advanced environmental sensitivity by collecting stems in a separate container for composting.

The tops are mild and will not cause a line for the bathroom unless people go crazy and can’t stop top popping. There are hundreds of dandelion recipes online. Try them all!

Steve Skinner is a top popper from way back. Reach him at nigel@sopris.net.