Last fall I was reading about dandelion root tea/coffee. This sounded so good I thought I would give it a try. I roamed all over the back field looking for roots and dug all I could find. Seems it’s still a bit early for them. From what I was reading you need to dig the roots when they are blooming. And you only want the roots in early spring and again in the fall. During the summer when it’s hot is not the time to dig them.
I also learned by trial and my hard work that the ones in the lawn have very small roots. They are much larger in the field, and you really need a good shovel not a hand trowel. 😉 With the big shovel I was able to replace the clumps of grass and tap them down with my foot, and not leave holes every where I went. This will make my dear husband happy when he mows later on.
I started to (tried to) pull off all of the little thread like side roots. But then decided they probably wouldn’t hurt any thing if I left them on. So some have them and some don’t.
I patted them dry on a towel and took a knife and chopped them into pieces and plopped them in the food processor and chopped until they were smaller chunks. Not to small as I figured they would shrink a bit when they were dry, but small enough that they wouldn’t (shouldn’t) take forever to dry.
Next I put the on a cookie sheet to roast them. 250f for about one half hour worked for me. I turned them every few minutes and left the oven door open abit. I didn’t have a lot to start with. They turned a nice coco brown and crumbly.
I let them cool for a few hours and processed them in the food processor to make them a bit smaller. I didn’t want to turn them into powder just ground coffee size pieces. Put into a jar, for safe keeping. I’m going to try using them in the coffee maker.
This morning I tried some, boy was that good! I used 1 tsp. for every cup of water. The coffee maker worked well.
This is something I will do again to add to the pantry.
I would think that if I found a nice field and spent an hour or so digging a 5 gallon bucket full of just the roots, all this work would be worth the effort. I didn’t mind this time as I only wanted a small amount to try.
This would also be a great time to save all those greens, wash and freeze them if you like the greens, we don’t so I didn’t save them but did give some to the chickens. They just pecked at them without much interest yet.
I will save the greens next time, wash, dry/dehydrate and save to feed to the chickens this winter. They will appreciate them then I’m pretty sure. I could also try adding a small amount of the greens this winter into stew or soup. They might not be all that overpowering bitter if very small and in a small amount.