Tired of feeling tired in the morning? Are you having to drink more and more coffee just to wake up? News Update. You, my friend have a coffee addiction, so do I, and so do billions of other people on the planet. However! If you are interested in trying a super healthy alternative to coffee, one that you can make from the safety of your own backyard, sourcing it sustainably and for FREE! Than oh boy do we have a great coffee substitute for you! Drum roll..
Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee!
Wait. No.. It can’t be that simple? Yes.. Yes it is. Society doesn’t want you to know the secret tricks of the woodland realm my friends! But we are here to show you! As an Escape Artist, I pride myself in constantly striving to identify the chains of society, finding keys to break them, and learning tools to be self sufficient. It’s challenging, it can be scary, but it is worth it!!
What society doesn’t want you to know, but is blatantly obvious.
We have been trained, since we were young to pick dandelions from the yard. That one lonely dandelion can ruin a perfectly pristine green lawn, and so, we throw them away. We are literally CONDITIONED to throw away edible foods. EDIBLE MEDICINAL FOODS. Why? So that we have to buy our greens, coffee, etc from the store, and spend our hard earned money encouraging a system that convinces us to throw away a basic human need… FOOD.
It’s frightening, but one of the most effective chains that society has cuffed onto our psyche, is our passion for, and subsequent addiction to that life savior of a brown bean.
I could rant for pages, so back to the post!
First. I love coffee. Like you and many others, it is one of my favourite things.
For most of us coffee is our usual wake up routine. That rich aroma that permeates the air can be enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
I sometimes think about that hot cup of brown the night before because the hot drink literally convinced me that I need it, that I can’t function without it.
From experience, I’ve found that relying on anything so desperately is bound to lead one astray. So? Dandelion Coffee it is.
FORAGING & OR MASS PRODUCTION?
We love foraging for wild edible plants. Every few days I try to add another green specimen into my herbal mind palace, and then, like magic, you start seeing them everywhere! I’d hear folks talk about dandelion root coffee, but I never put much stock into the idea, because how could a pesty weed taste like that majestic burnt umber bean that our entire world so desperately craves.
Coffee is a staple in most Westerners diets, whether it’s a cappuccino, expresso, triple triple, or home ground French press. Coffee has become the blood of society. Where would our civilization be without it? Likely still in the bronze age.
Ironically, it’s cheaper to buy a product that is grown thousands of miles away from most consumers. Arabica is grown in Latin America, Central and East Africa, India and, to some extent, Indonesia. But the Arabica bean may be going extinct within this century. With battling fungus, climate change, ethical, ecological and political trials and tribulations, it may be safer for us to start investing in our own minds, and gain the skills to recognize that virulent weed we all loath so much! So let’s chop it up, roast it and drink it’s delicious essence! It’s tasty, nutrient dense, and has a variety of other health benefits!
I won’t say that Dandelion root is better than coffee, but it is very similar in flavour and without the bitterness. Whether you put cream and sugar into your morning coffee or you drink it black, you may be pleasantly surprised at the shocking similarity these roasted roots have to the smooth rich flavour of coffee.
It’s been hyped for years that coffee has loads of health benefits, but the excessive amount of caffeine also has side effects.
Dandelion Root – Nutrient Power House
Dandelion leaves, and roots are high in vitamins and minerals including B complex vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, zinc, potassium and iron. . Dandelion is higher in Vitamin A than any other garden plant. There roots contain inulin, mucilage, latex resin, and teraxacin.
Helps to Reduce Caffeine Consumption
While two to four cups of coffee or tea a day aren’t bad for most people, more than that can cause health problems. Potential side effects include irritability and anxiety, sleeplessness, increased heart rate and muscle tremors.
Dandelion root may promote digestion and reduce stomach pain through its gentle laxative effect. It also helps promote healthy gastrointestinal bacteria. The center recommends drinking up to three cups of dandelion root tea each day by boiling 1/2 to 2 teaspoons in about 1 cup of water for several minutes. Strain and cool slightly.
Diuretics, which increase urine production, may be useful for treating premenstrual bloating and conditions such as mild edema. Dandelion may help through its toxin-flushing properties include high blood pressure and liver problems. Improves Gall Bladder Function. Because of its ability to flush toxins from the system, dandelion root may work well for people prone to gall stones. It seems to promote healthy bile secretion, and may also dissolve the gallstones themselves.
Make sure that you harvest your dandelion roots from pesticide free lawns, meadows and waste grounds. If you buy prepared dandelion root coffee substitute at a health food store, look for “organic” on the label. While organic coffee beans certainly exist, it’s easier, and certainly cheaper, to ensure that your own harvested dandelion roots are organic.
Identifying, Harvesting & Prepping Dandelion Root
So how do you make Dandelion Root Coffee?!
First, the best time to harvest dandelion root is in the fall when the plant goes dormant. This way the dandelion has stored all of its accumulated energy from the summer sun for the long winter months so that when spring comes, it will have all the energy need to sprout that majestic golden flower. Well, sorry sir, we are turning you into coffee! If you are worried about losing your precious dandelion crop by uprooting them all. Don’t worry! The tiniest little bit of root left in the ground will grow an entirely new plant next season!
Each part of the dandelion is useful. You can harvest the leaves and flowers in spring and summer, and roots in the fall for… Coffee!
Make sure that you know how to identify the dandelion plant without seeing the flower. The leaves are wide toothed edges and are hairless. One flower per stem, and the roots, leaves and stem have a milky white sap.
When you identify your dandelion make sure you have the proper tool. I’ve lost many dandelion roots under the ground using the wrong method. Their roots go deep, so make sure you have a tool that can reach deep around the root, and pull it up without cutting the root into pieces. This garden trowel tool works great!
It takes 1 tbs of ground roasted dandelion root to make 1 cup of coffee, and the roots shrivel down when you roast them, so the more foraging the better!
Once you’ve gathered a few Dandelion roots, it’s time to wash them. Remove the leaves (you can cook up the leaves to eat, they may be too bitter, but they have tonnes of nutrients!)
Then wash all the dirt off thoroughly. Dry the roots with a towel, and then slice them down the middle. Try and organize the root pieces by size. You want to make sure that you are roasting roots that are roughly the same size to ensure they are all roasted evenly, and some aren’t charred (this happened to me my first time!)
You can use the smaller scraggly pieces for tinctures.
Roasting the Root
Preheat the oven to 350F and then place the cut root pieces on a baking sheet for 40 minutes to an hour in the oven. Check them from time to time to make sure they are roasting evenly, and not being burned. Times may vary. When they are done they should be crispy, but not black.
Once the root is roasted, you can chop them up and then blend the root with a food processor or coffee grinder to whatever grind you prefer. We use a French press for our coffee, so we like a larger ground.
If you are buying the dried root from the store, than heat the oven to 350F for about 15 minutes. You can buy dandelion root here from our favourite herbalist!
How to Brew Wild Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee:
Once you are done roasting and grinding it’s time to make coffee! there are some recipes that add spices to the dandelion coffee which in the end, ends up tasting more like a rich chai tea, but the flavour is absolutely delicious. You can add cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamon or fennel. This is the time and place to get creative!
But for now I’ll keep it to the basics of plain coffee.
First, the ratio is 1 tbs to 1 cup. So I add 2 tbs of the ground root to 2 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. I usually simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the water is dark brown, you can pour the contents into a french press, or pour through a strainer. Then if you want to get extra fancy, you can add a sweetener (real maple syrup!) and or cream! Add cream and sugar to anything and it’s tastes delicious!
How to Make Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee
Wild foraged, Caffeine-free Roasted Dandelion Coffee. Add milk or sweetener to taste!
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp ground dandelion root organic
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
Add 1 tbsp of roasted ground dandelion root to boiling water.
Reduce water to a simmer for 10 minutes, until liquid is a rich dark brown, and has a robust aroma.
Poor hot contents into a French press and press the liquid or drain the liquid into a cup through a fine strainer.
It's better to add an extra half a cup of water because it will evaporate during the simmering process.
Feel free to try adding additional spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and or fennel pair well with dandelion root coffee!
Hope you enjoy your wild foraged coffee substitute! We absolutely love it. Soon we will be coffee free, but dandelion full!