Homemade Dandelion Coffee
With the country in lockdown many of us have more time on our hands than we can take care of. There are only so many muffins, loaves of bread or scones one can make! Now we all love a nice hot cuppa to go with all that baking but having a coffee with every cake is not going to help the anxiety or sleep. So, being the kitchen witch I am, I endeavoured to whip up a caffeine free drink full of immune and vitality boosting mushrooms, herbs and spices. Lets get started ..
HOMEMADE DANDELION COFFEE WITH OPTIONS
Dandelion presents itself as a golden beacon, a resilient and nutritive herb growing well in suburban settings and it disturbed soils. It is thought of as an internal cleanser, specifically of the liver and gallbladder but also for the kidneys and urinary tract. Dandelion leaves are used as a mild diuretic when taken as a tea as the potassium rich leaves help prevent mineral loss while also cleansing the urinary system and reducing blood pressure. Dandelion root stimulates liver and gallbladder action thereby supporting digestion, the metabolism of fats and acting as a slight laxative. Dandelions are also extremely mineral rich and are considered to be highly nutritious. When harvested and used in early autumn, dandelion roots and leaves help to provide essential immune enhancing minerals, while also supporting healthy gut flora to help support the body to be resilient in the face of winter illness. Dandelion is also thought to open the third eye ( like chaga) for spiritual attunement and second sight.
Dandelion leaves are a great nutrient dense green to add into your salads ( make sure you always collect dandelion from areas that have not been sprayed with chemicals) and have a nice fresh flavour. The leaves can also be made into tea for water retention such as the dreaded period bloat! The root aside from being one of the best liver and digestive tonics also makes a pretty amazing coffee substitute. You can gather dandelion from your yard and make your very own homegrown dandelion coffee! I have put together a step by step to get you from dandelion to coffee. I have also added in some amazing options depending on what you want to get from your brew.
Collect your dandelions. Make sure what you think is a dandelion.. is a dandelion! Look for large specimens and if you can, do it after some rain as they have long tap roots and are difficult to remove intact from dry or clay soil. Use a small trowel if you have one. Leave the ones with flowers blooming for the bees. They need them more than we do!
Once you have harvested your dandelions - realistically you need about 15-20 plants to make an appreciable amount of coffee- especially if small - remove greens and put aside. Take the roots and soak them from 20 minutes to loosen dirt.
After soaking scrub the roots to remove any remaining dirt.
Once roots have been thoroughly washed and dried, chop them into small pieces. Put aside the small wispy bits as they will burn in the oven. These lil bits can be put into an amber bottle vinegar to make a mineral dense vinegar.
Put washed and dried root into a baking tray and bake at 100 degrees for 15 minutes to dry the roots. Increase the heat to 180 and bake for 25 minutes or until all pieces are thoroughly roasted and no white inner is visible. This time frame is probably quite fluid depending on how much you make so keep a close watch.
Take your roast dandelion root from the oven and allow to cool. It should have a coffee like smell and be quite fragrant.
Put your roast dandelion into a spice grinder or a mortal and pestle with your choice of spices - I used cinnamon and fennel but cardamom, star anise, nutmeg, ginger or vanilla would be great
Add in your favourite herb or mushroom
Cordyceps - stress, lungs, immunity
Chaga - spirit, gut, immunity
Turkey Tail - fatigue & immunity
Reishi- stress, calm, immunity
Shroom Squad- stress, immunity, brain
Ashwagandha- stress, sleep, immunity
He Shou Wu- exhaustion & aging
Store your dandelion and herb coffee in an airtight jar. To prepare - you can use as you would any ground coffee - with hot water poured over in a french press, in a coffee machine or infused into mylk in a pot. Sweeten with your choice of sweetener ( or not!) and serve. There you go. A nutritive, gut and liver loving drink straight from your garden to your belly. there really is something so nourishing about using homegrown or nearby foraged herbs and plants for food and medicine. There is magic all around us- you just need to look and then you will start to see.
xx Rach xx