Roasted Dandelion Root “Coffee”
When brewed properly, dandelion root coffee closely resembles the rich flavor of traditional coffee, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
One 5-gallon bucket of dandelion roots (to yield about 10 gallons of coffee).
- Prepare the Roots:
To wash the roots, fill the bucket with water and agitate the roots with your hands. Pour off the muddy water and repeat this process a few times until the water runs clear and you have a pile of luscious golden roots. Don’t worry if there’s still some dirt left on them—you’ll wash them again after chopping. With a sturdy knife, cut the roots into chunks. Put these into a large bowl (or sink), fill with water, then rub the roots and rinse until clean. Drain until fairly dry or pat with a towel. Chop about 2 cups of root chunks at a time in your food processor until they’re chopped into small, coarse bits.
- Roasting the Roots:
Spread the coarsely ground roots on cookie sheets about 1/2-inch thick. Place as many sheets as you can fit into your oven, set at 250°F, and leave the oven door slightly ajar to let moisture escape. The roasting process takes about 2 hours. Stir frequently and rotate the cookie sheets occasionally to ensure even drying and roasting. As the roots dry, they’ll shrink and darken to a rich coffee color—but be careful not to let them burn. Cool completely and store in glass jars. Flavorful additions such as anise, cinnamon, ginger, and carob can be added if you like.
- Brewing the Coffee:
You can either grind the roots in a coffee mill and brew in a coffee pot, or you can place the coarsely ground roots in a tea infuser and boil in a pot of water. Use 1 tablespoon of roasted roots for each cup of water (1/3 cup per quart of water). Adjust to your taste if you like it stronger or weaker. Add a dash of cream and sugar if you like, and enjoy a steaming cup of Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee!