3 Herb Mamas

Roasted Dandelion Mochas

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Roasted Dandelion Mocha

Winter time with all the holidays and  richer, heavier foods can take a toll on our livers, kidneys and general digestion. One way to enjoy a boost to these organs and systems  while we wait for those first delicious wild and cultivated greens that are so renewing is to brew  a pot of caffeine-free, nourishing Dandelion “coffee”, add some raw cacao chips that are rich in anti-oxidants, a little local raw honey, and a dollop of freshly whipped cream (dairy, almond, coconut or whatever you prefer).

Dandelion

Dandelion is a specific for liver and kidneys. It is rich in iron and potassium as well as many other minerals. It is stimulating to these organs while not overtaxing your nervous system. It improves digestion and fat metabolism and is naturally diuretic without depleting minerals the way pharmaceutical diuretics can. It is readily available three seasons of the year and free for the gathering. Naturally, you should make sure you are gathering from land that has not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides but most folks would be happy to have you dig out this most misunderstood of all “weeds”. (A weed, by the way, is simply a plant whose value is underestimated. Or, if you prefer, a plant in the wrong place.) Begin digging roots in the spring. Scrub, split, chop and dry they all through the summer and into fall. You’ll have plenty on hand for next winter and your liver will thank you for the break from coffee and tea.

 

Roasting chopped, dried Dandelion roots in a skillet. Left: unroasted Right: roasted

I like to roast Dandelion roots in a skillet over medium heat stirring to keep them from turning into Dandelion Charcoal. Some people  prefer to roast them in a moderate oven, stirring occasionally. I tend to forget about them in the oven but it certainly works just as well if you keep an eye on them. Once they are roasted, I allow them to cool a little before grinding them fine in a standard coffee mill I reserve just for herbs.

 

Ground Roasted Dandelion roots can be brewed in place of or in combination with ground Coffee beans. On the right I combined mine with some Cacao nibs.

Brew your Dandelion just as you would regular coffee. We like to use a French press but you can use any type of coffee maker. Once it is brewed you can stir in the sweetener of your choice, and top with cream if you like. These taste wonderful chilled with soy or your other preferred milk. During these cold winter days, I like mine served warm along with a good garden book or seed catalog, a quilt to cuddle under and a nice fire roaring in the wood stove. Enjoy!

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