Ground dandelion coffee.
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Dandelion Coffee

Coffee and cycling go hand in hand. For some, cycling to a café for a rewarding caffeine hit is enough of an excuse to hop on your bike, for others cycling the country lanes, garden trowel in hand, looking for a weed to brew is motivation enough!

Dandelions (pissy-beds if you’re from Ireland!)  are a very common plant and are widely found all over the world.  Nowadays, it is considered an invasive weed to be stamped out but in the past it was used for cooking, medicine, and drinks. There is evidence to show that it was cultivated in many medieval sites.

It’s a very versatile plant. The leaves can be used in salads and the flowers used to make wine. The roots are used as a vegetable or, for this blog update, a caffeine-free coffee substitute. It has many health benefits and is particularly good for the kidney and liver. It helps to promote digestion and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

The best time to harvest dandelion roots is from late Autumn to early Spring when the roots are full after storing the energy they received during the warmer Summer months.

Benbulben and O'Connors Island, Sligo, Ireland

It’s getting to that time of the year when our bike journeys are getting shorter along with the days

Dandelion clock

Clinging on to Summer! The last of the ‘dandelion clocks’.

dandalionleavesstonewall

dandalionroots

Dandelion roots.

Dandelions can be found by the road side, in grasslands, and in open woodland. They prefer moist soil that gets a fair amount of sun.  Their roots can reach far down into the ground, so try and gently coax the whole plant up using a garden trowel and your hands.

Foraged dandelion roots ready for dandelion coffee.

The dandelion leaves can be eaten raw or added to soup. They are best picked in Spring when they are less bitter.

dandalionrootsleavekitchen

We, however, are interested in the roots.  Clean and scrub them and cut into chip sized bits.

dandalionrootspreoven

Lay them out on an baking tray and pop them in the oven to roast for about 30 to 40 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

Ground dandelion coffee.

A mug of freshly ground dandelion coffee.

A mug of dandelion coffee.

Make sure the roots are roasted through and are thoroughly dry and brittle to the touch. Grind with your coffee grinder or mortar and pestle and brew as you would normally brew your coffee.  If the coffee is a little bitter for your taste buds add a little sugar or honey.

For more information on foraging while cycling check out our other posts. Free Food! , Cycling can be thirsty work, drinking tea can be free! and Foraging while cycling!

*When picking dandelions for consumption, make sure you choose plants that are free from pesticides, fertilisers, and sprays.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for this; very informative!

    I’ve not yet picked any dandelions for eating or roasting but I’m now keen to give it a try; I’m sure I’ll have some in my garden at some point. I will certainly add the leaves to a salad and as for roasting and grinding the roots for coffee, I will give that a try too. Can you advise as to how long the roasted roots could be stored for, taking into account a loss of flavour (or whatever may happen if kept for too long), and as a rough guide, how much to use in a cup?

    P.S. Loving the view of Ireland.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sea Shore Foraging for Razor Clams. | Crank and Cog

  3. I’ve never heard of dandelion root coffee. I’m a big coffee drinker, grinding and brewing fresh beans every morning. I would try dandelion root myself but the local dandelions are most likely contaminated with the chemicals they spray on the lawns and fields. I’ll see if any farmers markets near Princeton carry roots. They typically sell dandelion greens only.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dandelion root is a good substitute for coffee, it has a really earthy taste. I hope you can source some roots! It’s a good idea to ask at the market. I have recently discovered that you can even make jam from dandelion flowers! It’s a very versatile plant.. maybe that will be our next recipe!

      Like

  4. jakecoker

    Wow I’ve definitely never thought to use Dandelions for coffee or food. I’ve got a ton of them growing in the backyard, so I think I’ll give this a try tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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