Classified as a bitter herb with cool energy, Dandelion is one of the most nutrient-rich plants in nature. All parts of the plant are edible. The young leaves can be steamed or eaten raw in salads, the flowers made into tasty wine and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable or made into a nutritious coffee substitute.
The root of the Dandelion contains beneficial sources of vitamins A, C, and D as well as B-complex. It also contains the minerals zinc, iron, and potassium. Dandelion root provides a high antioxidant value to the diet. Traditionally Herbalists have used Dandelion to enhance the body’s eliminative and detoxifying functions. It is a powerful tonic for liver dysfunction, purifying the blood, treatment of anemia, constipation, rheumatism, gallbladder problems, inflammatory skin conditions, gout and a successful treatment for high blood pressure by eliminating excess fluids from the system. All parts of Dandelion contain strong, natural, diuretic properties.
Chicory has been cultivated for thousands of years. It resembles Dandelion in its deep taproot and both Dandelion and Chicory have many of the same medicinal properties. Together, the dried root of both plants can be chopped and roasted to make a herbal coffee substitute.
Lately, I’ve been drawn to Dandelion/Chicory coffee…whether my body is telling me I need it medicinally or because I’m just loving the taste of the drink…or maybe both reasons. I’m not sure. I’ve been drinking it as a hot coffee substitute drink and an iced drink in the summer. It’s my new favourite drink.
Here’s my recipe: For a hot drink
- One heaping teaspoon roasted Dandelion & Chicory root in a mug
- Add boiling water to fill the mug about 1/3 full
- Stir and steep for 5-10 minutes
- Add honey to taste
- Add some almond or soymilk to fill the mug
Then: Pour through a fine strainer into a small pot and reheat.
For an iced drink:
- Follow steps 1 through 5
- Then: Pour into a large, tall glass and add almond or soymilk to fill the glass ¾ full.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of vanilla coconut ice cream or any preferred vanilla ice cream.
As the ice cream melts, the drink becomes smooth and creamy. Stir and enjoy.
Note: You can find Roasted Dandelion or Roasted Dandelion/Chicory root in most Health Food Stores sold as a coffee substitute.