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Top health trends of the year: Some reasons to fuel your body with flowers

MILWAUKEE --Usually people talk about dandelions and roses sitting out on the back patio. But now, they're a topic of conversation in the kitchen. Meghan Sedivy with Fresh Thyme joins Real Milwaukee with some recipes using floral flavors.

Dandelion greens and floral flavors like rose are trending, but they aren`t just a trend, these 2 foods have surprising health benefits too!

Digestion 

  • Dandelion greens contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are a rich source of prebiotic fiber.
  • Prebiotic fiber helps 'friendly' bacteria otherwise known as probiotics grow and flourish in the digestive tract, promoting healthy digestion and potentially boosting immune function.
  • It is important that you use dandelion greens that are purchased from a store or farmers market as these are considered safe to consume.
  • This wild spring green pizza is a great way to incorporate dandelion greens into your meal.
  • Start with a baked cauliflower crust that you can purchase premade or make it yourself.
  • To make it yourself you combine 3 bags of cooked riced cauliflower, 2/3 cup parmesan cheese and 3 large egg whites and then bake for about 25 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown.
  • Once you have your crust, add 1/3 cup Alfredo sauce, 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion, 2 oz. or about 4 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto and 2 oz. of coarsely crumbled goat cheese and set aside.
  • Next, we want to turn our attention to the dandelion greens. When served raw  dandelion greens can have an earthy, nutty and slightly bitter taste like endive or  radicchio lettuce leaves. To help make these greens more appetizing we need to sauté  or cook them before adding them on top of the pizza.
  • To sauté the greens, pour 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil into a medium sauce pan over  medium/high heat. Add 1 tsp. fresh garlic and 2 cups of fresh dandelion greens and  sauté for about 5 minutes until the dandelion greens are wilted.

Antioxidant

  • Dandelion greens are packed with vitamin C, which helps boost immune function, helps production of collagen, a protein that is essential for healthy skin and hair growth and boosts iron absorption when paired with iron rich foods. Eating 1 serving of dandelion greens ~ 2 cups provides almost 50% of your daily vitamin C intake.
  • Once the greens are fully cooked, take your pizza and top with dandelion greens, figs  and sun-dried tomatoes, bake in the oven for 5 minutes and enjoy.

Wild Dandelion Green Pizza Recipe
Ingredients

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 (12-oz.) bags Fresh Thyme frozen riced cauliflower
  • 3 Fresh Thyme large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Thyme fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup jarred Alfredo sauce
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, cut into strips
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 2 cups dandelion greens
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced Mission figs
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, choppedDirections
    1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with spray
    2. Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Wrap the cauliflower in a clean, dry kitchen towel and wring out moisture. Return cauliflower to bowl.
    3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, Parmesan, and salt. Add to the cooked cauliflower and stir to combine. Place mixture on prepared pan. Pat down with hands to shape into a 12-inch round.
    4. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.
    5. Spread Alfredo sauce evenly over the crust. Top with red onion, prosciutto, and goat cheese. Set aside.
    6. In a medium sauce pan, pour 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. minced garlic and 2 cups dandelion greens and stir on medium/high until greens are wilted.
    7. Top with dandelion, figs, and sun-dried tomatoes and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into 4 slices and serve immediately.

Hydration

  • To complete your delicious meal, pair your pizza with an ice cold rose and lime spritzer
  • To make this mocktail combine; ½ cup ice, 2 oz. rose syrup, 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, top the glass off with lime flavored sparkling water and rose hips to garnish the drink.
  • Rose water which is used to create rose syrup has been associated with helping to relieve unwanted bloating, symptoms of an upset stomach and may even help to regulate digestion.
  • The edible rose hips that are used to garnish the drink are rich in vitamin C and contain polyphenols which are plant-derived compounds, with strong antioxidant properties that may help combat inflammation in the body.
  • This is a great refreshing drink on a hot summer day that keeps you hydrated from the inside out and if you are looking for a fun adult beverage you can add a little vodka or gin to wow your taste buds.

Iced Rose and Lime Mocktail 
Ingredients

  • 2 oz. rose syrup
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup ice
  •  Edible rose hips (to garnish)
  • Lime flavored sparkling water

Instructions
1. In a cup, combine ½ cup ice, 2 oz. rose syrup, 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, top the glass off with lime flavored sparkling water and rose hips to garnish the drink.
2. Stir well and sip away!

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