Dandelion coffee – a liver cleansing caffeine free alternative

Coffee is one of those vices I just keep going back to.  I’ve given up a lot of things on my health journey, including coffee, but the rich luxurious taste always lures me back in.  Not to mention the fact that I-can-not-even until I’ve had my cup o joe. 

A friend of mine once recently described my coffee addiction as something akin to a baby needing a pacifier.  Every time I give it up I get all pissy for a bit, but then I quickly realise I never really needed it at all. So I’ve decided to cut back on my Americano addiction.  Caffeine stresses my adrenals and I don’t want to be dependant on a pacifier to get me through the day. 

I knew I would want a coffee alternative, at least in the beginning, to satisfy my craving for the rich flavor I love – enter dandelion coffee.

I’ve seen it at the health food stores and have skeptically considered trying it out, but most store brands include barley which is a no-go for me, so I decided to make my own, for free, because there is no shortage of dandelions in the world.   My foraging brother explained to me how easy it is and how spring is the perfect time to find thick, juicy roots so I enlisted the help of my kids and went on a dual purpose mission. My garden got weeded and I made a delicious, medicinal cup of coffee that I enjoyed more than I even expected to.

If you’re picking dandelions for your coffee be sure to grab them from bunches with only one flower or ideally before the flowers have bloomed at all.  You should pick them in places not sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and for obvious reasons you will probably want to avoid dandees growing in places where dogs run free.

It helps to use a small trowel or a dandelion tool that pulls them up by the roots.  I have very hit and miss luck tugging on the greens, usually the greens just snap off, leaving the root firmly lodged in the ground.  But don’t go tossing those greens – those things are magic, perfectly balanced on the ph scale, cleansing for your liver, and delicious fried with a bit of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. 

Another great thing about this coffee is you can get your kids involved in harvesting and drinking the fruits of your labour.  My kids love it sweetened and creamy with honey and almond milk.  They get super into to the process of harvesting the dandelions which means an hour or so of not asking me to play video games or watch TV. Mom win.

Once the roots are roasted and dried they store for a long time.  I keep mine in a mason jar and have started to instinctively reach for them rather than a second cup of coffee in the afternoon.

Dandelion coffee tastes:

Like coffee without the acidity.  It is a bit more mellow in flavor, depending on how long the roots have roasted and has notes of chocolate and black tea. 

To make the coffee:

Gather your roots.  You will need about 2 tbsps of dried crushed roots for one strong cup of coffee – so get foraging!

Separate the roots from the greens and wash them very well. Save those greens for dinner.

Dry the roots on a paper towel and preheat your oven to 300

Roast until light brown and slightly crumbly – about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool and use your fingers to crumble up the roots into smaller pieces.     

Return to the 300 degree oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the roots are a deep black-brown color and have a rich chocolatey smell.

 To prepare a cup:

Place 2 tbsp of dried coffee in a saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid turns dark black like a cup of coffee.  Strain through a colander into your mug.  Add what you would normally add to your cup a joe and enjoy!

If you tried this and liked it be sure to pin it and let me know in the comments below.

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