Dandelions can be eaten in many ways, from leafy greens to fried flowers to drinking wine; I almost imagine them as lettuce gone wild. Making coffee from dandelions isn't new, but trying this unusual drink is an interesting way to spend a few hours -- and, if you haven't sprayed them with herbicide in the past, an organic way to get rid of those dandelions in the yard.
Tools and supplies include: a weed popper, knife, cookie sheet, oven, coffee grinder, and of course a coffee machine. Follow along in the gallery to get a better idea. Instructions are after the break!
Dandelion Coffee(click thumbnails to view gallery)
Using the weed popper, pop out as many dandelion tap roots as you want; it takes about 25 small roots for a cup of this alternative coffee. Cut off and wash the carrot-like roots; pat them dry and lay them out on a cookie sheet.
Roast them for two to three hours at 200 degrees F: they should look chocolate brown, and snap like dry sticks. Stick 'em in the grinder, then into the coffee filter to brew. You'll have to adjust the strength to your liking; I used about two tablespoons of grounds for one cup of coffee.
There are a few good health claims about dandelions. First, it's caffeine free; I know some of you boo this notion and so do I, but my blood pressure thanks me for staying away from the stuff. Aside from that, Peter Gail at The Leaf Lady: Natural Healing Through Natural Health
claims dandelions have benefits from improved bowel function to weight loss.
Growing them in a garden bed would ensure healthy herbicide-free plants -- and would really freak out the turf lawn neighbors. LOL!
You'll have to figure on popping a lot if you like this drink, or you can order it ready-made online. Believe it or not, there are dandelion farms
, and even cultivated dandelion seeds
that you can order.