Coffee Substitute: Toasted Dandelion Root "Coffee"
But for experiment sake, I made this toasted dandelion root "coffee", which to my surprise, it tasted rather nice! It has the mouthfeel of the coffee but kind of herbal-ly and smoother than the actual coffee. Definitely feeling healthier after drinking it. So much goodness of this plant that we all regarded it as weed. We will try all sort of ways to get rid of it from our precious garden. It is such a waste!
So far, I had tried the dandelion flowers to make a cake. It was delicious. Now I only need to eat the leaves to complete my experiment with dandelion!
The dandelion "coffee" is rather easy to make. First you need to gather as much as you can the dandelion roots. Discard the leaves, wash thoroughly. Pad dry them and then cut them into small pieces.
Once you have done the cutting, put the root in a metal baking tray and roast it in the preheated oven (150'C) for 90mins. And then 180'C for 15mins (all ovens are different, you have to experiment and use your own judgement. I think once it is dried and brown, you can stop the cooking process).
Take the roasted dandelion root out of the oven and let it cool down completely. I left it overnight before the final preparation stage.
In the morning, I put the cool dandelion root in a pan (with a pinch of dried lemon peel, this is optional, I think the lemon peel add a touch of zing-ness to the final product!) and dry roast it for few minutes until the root pieces have just toasted and slightly "burn". Remove the pan from the heat and take out the pieces and then let it cool down complete before grind them into fine powder.
To make the coffee, instead of pouring hot water over the powder. I made the coffee Greek way by cooking the water and dandelion root powder for few minutes. Then strain the liquid through a coffee filter. Add sugar to taste..YUM! I was surprised that the liquid ended up so much like a real dark coffee despite of the light brown colour of the roasted root.
Give the dandelion a try! How can you not look at this "weed" in a different light from now! It is such a useful plant!