Surprisingly enough, dandelion roots make a very good coffee substitute. Naturally caffeine-free, dandelion root coffee tastes like regular coffee, but has many additional herbal benefits. Dandelion contains anti-oxidants that improve the function of the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and digestive system. You can buy dandelion root coffee, or you can make it yourself.
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Things you need
- Dandelion roots
- Food processor
Grow dandelions in your garden. When you purposefully grow dandelions for harvesting, you can encourage large root growth by planting in loose, tilled soil. Dandelions that grow as weeds are often in compacted soil that produces only small roots.
Harvest dandelion roots in the early spring or fall to get the most nutritional value. However, dandelions can be harvested anytime to make coffee.
Pick bunches with lots of greens above the ground to have the best chance of finding big, quality roots.
Cut the roots off the dandelion bunch with a knife.
Get the Right Dandelion Roots for Your Coffee
Clean the dandelion roots thoroughly. You can do each root by hand or plunge the roots into water repeatedly.
Cut the roots into smaller pieces and grind them up in a food processor.
Spread the ground dandelion pieces out evenly on cookie sheets. Multiple cookie sheets should be used to minimize cooking time.
Roast the dandelion roots at 250 degrees F for 2 hours.
Stir the dandelion roots periodically as they roast to promote even cooking.
Grind the roasted dandelion roots in a coffee grinder or food processor to use in an automatic coffee maker.
Brew the dandelion coffee just as you would regular coffee.
Prepare Dandelion Roots to Make Coffee
Tips and warnings
- Save dandelion leaves from harvested roots to use in salads or cooked dishes and to make dandelion oil or wine.
- You can roast whole dandelion roots without grinding if you wish.
- Rinse ground dandelion in a colander prior to roasting if you are unsure about your first cleaning.
- Leave the oven door open as you roast the roots so that the moisture can escape.
- Drink dandelion coffee to stimulate the digestive system and treat ingestion and constipation. The bitter taste of the coffee promotes the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach.
- Check roots occasionally to make sure they are not burning.
- Like most coffee, dandelion coffee is a diuretic, so expect increased urine flow when you drink it.
- Side effects of ingesting dandelion include diarrhea and upset stomach. These side effects are usually minor.