As I mentioned last week, I love dandelion coffee. Here is my recent batch and a recipe.
A few weekends ago, in the brilliant Sunday afternoon sun, Honey and I took her mom to check out the neighbourhood where we’ll be moving soon. I couldn’t bear to peek in on the backyard without climbing around the fence and letting them in to see all the interesting things growing there. Our friends technically still held the lease on the place and I figured that their neighbours on either side would probably recognise me and not call the cops. What would they say anyway, ‘crazy American walked into the backyard and started weeding’? We’re very excited to begin taking ownership of this lovely garden our friends have tended. We pulled out a lot of dandelions and I saved the roots!
Dandelion coffee is simple to make:
1. Soak the roots in water to loosen the soil
2. Scrub the dirt off the roots with a food brush
3. Roast them on low until they are dried through
4. Break, chop and grind them up (I use my food processor grinder)
5. Add several spoonfuls to a pot of boiling water until it is the right strength
6. Serve as you would serve coffee
7. Enjoy the rich, roasted, nutty flavour and the boost of vitamins!
If you catch the dandelions early when the leaves are small, with the flower heads still furled buds at the base, you can make dandelion syrup, have them on salads or make battered dandelions as well! Yum!
I am smiling from ear to ear.
I not only want to try the coffee, but how do you make the battered dandelions?
For battered dandelions, they’re like a tempura. You can make a thin pancake patter (runny and a bit drippy), dunk the crowns of the plant in the batter, drip off the excess and then fry in olive (or other) oil. Drain them on paper towels or a rack when they’re cooked to remove excess oil.
My son likes these drizzled with a little honey. He loves it when they start popping up in the spring!
Hmmm, I had never thought of honey- it sounds like something I’ll have to try!
Does the age of the root have anything to do with bitterness?
Hmmm…good question considering the same is true for leaves. I don’t actually know and haven’t noticed a real difference- I use roots of all ages when I dig them up. It is somewhat bitter even after roasting but only as bitter as coffee generally.
My grandmother used to put clay pots over the plants very early in their growth. She used the leaves for salad, and they were not bitter, they still grew well under the pot but did not get very dark green. It was her opinion that the sunlight made them bitter,and seemed to be right.
That’s really interesting! Thank you for sharing that neat bit of knowledge. I may have to let some grow in the patio so I can test this out without tripping over pots on the lawn!
Are these the same dandelions that grow in NW Wisconsin? The roots look much woodier.
Hi, I’m not sure about WI, but I grew up in PA and they’re basically the same. They may be slightly different where you are, but if they’re true dandelions, they’ll be edible. Enjoy!
Does it have caffeine?
Nope, no caffeine but dandelion root does have a lot of nutrients! Vitamin Bs, Iron, A, C, etc! Check it out here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/108871-vitamins-found-dandelion-root/
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i grind the roots before roasting them. they are too hard after roasting.
I roast them until they’re brittle (so just past tough, when they’re a bit caramelized) and then use a grinder, which works well for me. It sounds like grinding beforehand if you find them too tough is a good work around!
Thanks for your comment, your approach might be a good idea for other readers without a grinder, using a food processor before the roast.