Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ode to dandelion greens & Yiayia Sarris

Just finished up this glass of dandelion water, the bi-product of boiling 2 bunches of organic dandelion greens ("horta") for Easter dinner. The drink is actually kinda tasty (in its own semi-bitter way), and, like the greens, very good for you -- not to mention that my Yiayia Eugenia Sarris used to drink the water that she boiled her horta in. She wasn't kidding when she insisted that it was very, very good for you.
Dandelion Water
Indeed, incrediblesmoothies.com (Green Smoothie Recipes & Info for Incredible Health) cites 10 reasons why dandelion should be used in green smoothies: 1) High in calcium; 2) Rich in iron; 3) Low in calories; 4) Loaded with antioxidants; 5) Ultimate detox & cleansing green; 6) Lots of minerals; 7) 14% protein; 8) Multi-vitamin; and 10) Additional health benefits that include "anti-inflammatory properties which may provide benefit to those with asthma and other inflammatory diseases." Wow!

When  I took the greens to check out at the supermarket, the cashier said, "You could have come over to my house and picked some" -- a sentiment echoed by the elderly woman in line behind me. And then I told them how my Yiayia used to pick them, stopping wherever she spotted dandelions in a yard regardless of whose house it was. She would grab her wooden-handled fishing knife from the glove compartment along with a bag and jump out of her orange and black Plymouth to blithely pick some horta. Meanwhile, I would be yelling "Yiayia, they are going to arrest us!" before crouching beneath the dashboard to hide -- even though most people think of dandelion greens as WEEDS...

Years later, when living in Greece at the American Farm School on
the outskirts of Thessaloniki, I learned that this was no big deal. People would walk or drive out to the school and/or surrounding fields and do exactly the same thing: pick tasty, healthy horta wherever they found them for the family dinner table . 

Just goes to show that my Yiayia knew best!

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1 comment:

  1. Just had the last glass of horta water -- might have to sharpen my fishing knife!