The other day, I ran into my friend Whitni, who, sipping on a tea, told me she had quit coffee. Her wide eyes said, “I still want coffee.” We happened to be in a coffee shop. And worse than that, everyone around us was drinking coffee. And even worse, behind us were huge burlap bags full of coffee beans, and in front of us, piles of beans were roasting in a huge brass coffee roaster filling the air with the strong aroma of coffee. Why was she here? “I needed wifi” she explained.
We want to be healthy but we still want to enjoy ourselves too. In Spring, sometimes we naturally want to detox a little and going coffee free can be part of it. Dandelion coffee can be a great substitute. I don’t think that dandelion coffee tastes like real coffee, but it has a great flavor all its own that does have the same full-bodied profile as coffee, thanks to the roasted taste the roots impart.
As it turns out, it’s also an ideal Spring tonic, with detoxifying effects on the liver. So not only does it taste coffee-like, it’s actually good for you, and it’s good for you at this exact time of year.
To be honest, I’ve never dug up roots and roasted them myself, I find mine at the herb shop, all pre-roasted and cut up, ready to brew. So can you, unless you have the time to do the work yourself.
- Add 1 cup per serving of water to a pot
- Add 1 T or to taste of roasted dandelion roots to the pot
- Simmer for 10 minutes
- Strain into a coffee cup
- Add half and half
Really easy alternative:
- Add a roasted dandelion root teabag (look for roasted dandelion teabags in the tea section of the grocery store) to your coffee cup
- Pour boiling water over it
- Let it steep until it looks like coffee
- Take out the teabag and add half and half
This is how I drink it; you can also use coconut milk (what Whitni ended up doing) or add in any combination of other herbs or spices or milks. Sometimes I heat up milk and froth it before adding it in and then I have a delicious latte.
So you can drink its roots and you can also enjoy its color as a natural dye. The flowers can be used to create a beautiful buttery yellow.
- Mordant 1 ounce of fiber
- Cook 2 ounces of dandelions
- Add the premordanted fiber and simmer for 1 hour
- Let it cool in the pot, remove the fiber, and let it dry
- Rinse the next day.