Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dandelion Coffee

I was very excited when I opened my email to find notice of an up coming "wild foods" potluck. I really wanted to be able to contribute something but my knowledge and resources are limited. I finally decided on dandelion coffee. To hard core coffee drinkers I apologise for the term 'coffee' but it truly is a very nice substitute for the real thing. Not only does it taste similar, it is really good for you body! Dandelions of lots of nutrition depending on what part you use. It is my understanding that the roots are a good source of minerals. Dandelions are also very good at cleansing the liver.

Before the plants can be gathered, proper care should be taken to make sure that you have the right tool for the job. The picture below is an example of such a tool. I can probe the soil around the roots with out making a large disturbance in the ground.

Normally, this tool is made with a very hard wood. I did not have the time to find a proper piece of wood so I hardened the tip is fire.
This is cleaned dandelion root. I was able to get some good sized roots only because I had my digging tool. If you were to try and pull them out of the ground, the root would break off at the base and all you would get is the leaves.

Cut and roasts the roots. This is where you get to decide how dark you want you coffee to be. I have made coffee light and more like a tea or very dark. It is really whatever you want.

Don't throw away the greens!!! This makes a great side dish like spinach or an addition to a salad. If you really wanted to have fun with dandelions, make a pesto out of it. Just replace basil with the leaves of the dandelion. You will be surprised with the results.
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