Dandelion Flower Cookies: Your New Favorite Way to Use Dandelions

When you’re into natural health and you want a way to use dandelions, you know that spraying them isn’t the answer. Baking them into dandelion flower cookies might be, though.

Dandelions are an abundant powerhouse of nutrition and health benefits. And since they grow practically everywhere, it makes sense to enjoy all they have to offer!

I eat dandelion leaves and flowers in all sorts of recipes. I brew herbal drinks with the leaves, flowers, and roots. I even make dandelion extracts for medicine.

But these dandelion flower cookies might be my favorite way to enjoy dandelions. They’re so easy to make, bursting with flavor and nutrition, and something my family and I look forward to every spring.

The next time you see dandelions blooming near you, don’t let them all go to puffballs. Pick a bowlful so you can enjoy these delightfully herby cookies with people you love!

Yes, You Can (and Should) Eat Dandelions. Here’s Why.

You can eat or use all three parts of the dandelion: the leaves, roots, and flowers. Each part has unique health benefits, too. If you’re looking for a way to use dandelions, I’ve got you covered!

The leaves are an excellent dark green leafy vegetable. Their nutrition profile is off the charts, beating even spinach and kale. If you want to eat the greens raw, it’s best to gather them in the early spring before flowers appear. After that, they can be quite bitter, but they’re still edible. Just simmer them for at least 10 minutes before serving them cooked and you’ll hardly notice the bitterness. You can also add dandelion leaves to herbal tea blends for a boost of potassium.

While some people use the roots as a vegetable in soups and stews, they’re most often used as an herbal tea. In fact, roasted dandelion roots smell like chocolate and make a fantastic coffee substitute! Dandelion roots support liver health and your body’s natural detoxification processes. They’re also high in inulin, giving your gut health a boost. Dandy Blend is my favorite way to enjoy dandelion root.

You can use dandelion flowers in cooked and raw foods. They’re slightly sweet and offer similar nutritional benefits as other yellow fruits and vegetables. When you eat dandelion flowers, you get a boost of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

You can learn more about dandelion’s uses and health benefits here with my dandelion monograph.

What Do Dandelion Flowers Taste Like?

Dandelion flowers have a sweet, carrot-like flavor. That makes sense since they’re high in beta carotene and full of sweet nectar that bees love.

If you really want to learn what a dandelion flower tastes like, the best thing to do is to eat one right off the stem. Just peel back the green sepals (the green leaf-like structures under the flower head) and bite off the yellow petals. Be sure to check your face for pollen afterward!

However, I’ll admit that a mouthful of dandelion petals has a strange texture. Though my kids love munching flowers right off the stem, you might enjoy them better in some recipes:

You can also make a simple dandelion flower tea by filling a mason jar 1/4 high with whole dandelion flowers, pouring freshly boiled water over top, and steeping for 15 minutes or up to a couple of hours. Strain off the flowers and serve it warm or cold.

How To Prepare Dandelion Flowers to Eat

You don’t have to do anything special to prepare dandelion flowers for a recipe. In fact, I don’t even recommend washing them.

Choose No Spray Zones

First, make sure you only harvest from unsprayed areas. If dandelions are growing somewhere, that’s usually a good sign the ground hasn’t been sprayed. But if it’s not a guarantee, so only forage where you know chemical sprays aren’t used.

Pick on a Clear Day

Next, harvest on a dry day. If it’s been raining and the flowers are wet, the petals are more likely to stick together when you add them to recipes. Wet dandelion flowers are difficult to dry, too.

If you want to use the flowers in tea, though, you can pick them in the rain. They’re just going to get wet when you pour water over them, anyway.

Do You Need to Wash Dandelion Flowers?

This brings me to my next point: you can probably skip washing the flowers. The flowers grow above ground, so as long as you harvest them with clean hands and tools, there won’t be any dirt on them.

Rather than washing them, I like to spread out the flowers in a single layer to give any little bugs that might have been on them a chance to crawl out. Within 10-15 minutes, they’ll make their departure and I can move on with my dandelion feast.

How to Easily Remove Dandelion Petals from the Flower Head

Sometimes a recipe calls for just the flower petals and not the whole flower head, like with my Dandelion Flower Cookies below. The green sepals that grow right below and under the blossom can be a little bitter, which isn’t what you’re going for when you make cookies.

You can pull them out with your fingers, but that’s a little tedious.

My favorite way to remove the petals from the flower head is to pull back the green sepals with one hand and snip off the petals using kitchen scissors with my other hand. You’ll get a very small amount of green in with the petals, but it’s so much faster. Plus, you can’t taste that little bit of green material.

Once you have a bowlful of dandelion petals, it’s time to make cookies!

Recipe: Date-Sweetened & Gluten-Free Dandelion Flower Cookies

These delicious cookies come together in no time since you’ll mix them up in your food processor. Bonus: there’s just one bowl to wash!

Best of all, you can feel good serving these cookies to people you love. They’re free of gluten, refined flour, and sugar, they’re high in fiber, and they’re naturally sweetened with dates. The dandelion petals add a boost of flavor, sweetness, and health benefits, too.

Is it any wonder these are my family’s favorite springtime cookies? I hope you love them as much as we do!

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included for ingredients and helpful products. If you purchase, I can earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), sliced into chunks
  • 10 large Medjool dates (whole and unpitted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (choose certified gluten-free if you are extremely gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup gently packed dandelion petals
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Place butter chunks in your food processor bowl. Slice the dates lengthwise to cut in half and remove the pits. Why not just buy pitted dates? They tend to be dry and less flavorful, plus they don’t mix into the butter as well as whole, gooey dates.
  3. Process the butter and dates for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is smooth and the dates are in very small pieces. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then process for another 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients. Process for 30 seconds or until everything is combined. Scrape the bowl if needed, and pulse for 10 seconds to mix thoroughly. Your dough shouldn’t be perfectly smooth, but the oats should look like coarse sand.
  5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a large ungreased cookie sheet (like this one), making 18 cookies. Leave 2 inches of space between cookies so they have room to spread.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Printable Recipe Card

Dandelion Flower Cookies on Plate and Cooling Rack with Bowl of Flowers

Dandelion Flower Cookies

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These delicious springtime treats are gluten-free, sweetened with dates, and full of nutrition. Since you mix them up in your food processor, they come together in no time, too!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
  • 10 whole Medjool dates, sliced in half with pits removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (choose certified gluten-free if you're very gluten intollerant or have celiac disease)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup gently packed dandelion petals
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the butter and date halves in your food processor bowl and process for 30 seconds, or until the butter is smooth and the dates are in very small pieces.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then process again for around 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and process for another 30 seconds until everything is combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and pulse for 10 seconds to finish mixing. The oats should look like coarse sand, but the rest of the dough should be smooth.
  5. Drop by large tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, making 18 cookies. Leave at least 2 inches of space between cookies so they have room to spread.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Notes

For best results, buy whole dates, then slice and pit them right before making this recipe. Pre-pitted dates are often dry, so they don't work as well in this cookie recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

More Backyard “Weeds” You Can Use

Dandelions aren’t the only backyard weeds you can use for food and medicine! If you want to try your hand at more backyard foraging, give one of these plants or recipes a try:

Dandelion Flower Cookies_ Your New Favorite Way to Use Dandelions

Whether you’ve always known dandelions are edible and healthful or you just found out today, I hope this recipe nudges you to add them to your kitchen routine.

More than likely, snacking on a Dandelion Flower Cookie will look a lot more adultish than eating a flower right off the stem. But my kids and I won’t fault you for either option! In fact, we’d join you for both of them.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever eaten dandelion flowers?

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