This post was last updated on June 21st, 2015 at 01:49 pm
Amanda’s note: I would like to welcome Carol Little as a writer for Fresh Bites Daily. I reached out to Carol because of her long-time experience as an herbalist. She provides a depth of experience that is unusual to find and this simple vinegar recipe is one good example. Any of us can make a dandelion vinegar, but it takes using it for some time to have the wisdom of actually using it well. This is where Carol excels. If you would like to learn more about dandelions from Carol at her website Studio Botanica, check our her recipes on sauteed dandelions and dandelion quiche (here) or using dandelion as a green (here).
I love to teach about preserving herbs in vinegar. It’s easy to do. If you have a garden, you can grow specific plants to work with. Often, though, it’s the wild plants I choose to immerse in vinegar to capture their wild spirit and their nourishing goodness. At this time of year, I can’t wait to get out on a sunny morning to collect the early growth leaves and flowers of Taraxacum officinale aka the lovely sunny dandelion!
For the majority of my projects, I use pasteurized apple cider vinegar from the store. Sometimes, I use red or white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar. I never use the white vinegar sold in large jugs ~ that’s more a window cleaning solvent for my home. Having said that, there are many successful herbal vinegar makers who use it exclusively.
Vinegar is a potent ally and very powerful. Vinegar:
- Improves metabolic function
- Moderates hypertension
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prevents osteoporosis. Improves bone health
- Supports healthy skin tone
Combine the potent powers of vinegar with the nutritive qualities in our green world and you have an effective ‘meal booster’ for every day!
Like all herbalists, I am a huge fan of all things DANDELION!
Dandelion is abundant, affordable, and makes digestion-promoting vinegar. I start making dandelion vinegar in the spring, harvesting young leaves and flowers and I make lots of it. Each year, I try to save half of this vinegar until autumn, when I add the best dandy roots to the mix!
Infused Dandelion Vinegar: Flower, Leaf, and Roots in Season
- Add fresh, chopped dandelions to a clean glass jar (with a plastic lid)
- Put enough flowers into the jar to fill up about 3/4 of the way to the top.
- Add the vinegar and fill to the top.
- Use a chopstick or non-metal spoon or similar to poke around in the jar to allow any air bubbles to rise to the top.
- Use a plastic or glass lid to close the jar. Avoid metal as the vinegar will make it rust.
- Place the jar in a cupboard or ‘out of the way’ in a cool place.
- It’s recommended to shake it very day if possible to move the plant material around.
- Allow the concoction to sit for at least a month. (Traditional herbalists often say to let it infuse over 1 moon cycle.)
- Strain out the plant material.
- Compost or, in this case, I would keep some of the plant material and enjoy the pickled dandelion! Have you ever had pickled dandelion? Try it!
- Use a funnel to move the infused vinegar into a sterilized glass bottle with plastic lid.
- Store infused vinegars away from direct sunlight to preserve the extracted ‘goodness’. I keep my own vinegars for about 1 year, stored on a shady shelf or dark cupboard.
How to Use Your Vinegar
Take a teaspoon or two of dandelion vinegar before meals.
I just pour it into a shot glass and toss ‘er back.
It will increase the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) which helps with the assimilation of nutrients (especially calcium)
If we can fully digest our food and assimilate the nutrients in our meals, we can benefit from the good food choices we make. Many folks choose high quality ingredients but miss the boat when it comes to optimal digestion.
If my quick toss of dandelion shooter before meals is not ‘up your alley’, dandelion vinegar will add a zing to vinaigrettes, soups and stews, sauces, gravies, stir fries or casseroles. It makes a delicious marinade for meat.
Add a teaspoon to steamed greens to optimize your intake of calcium!
Do a little experiment. Add some of this healing vinegar to your meals in some way every day for 2-3 weeks. Notice if you feel any different. Sometimes it takes more dandelion, sometimes a stronger version, or sometimes a longer time but it’s safe to use, fun to make, and oh so GOOD FOR YOU!