This caffeine-free beverage is thought to have cleansing and digestive properties, and it contains many essential vitamins and minerals. Try roasted, ground dandelion root on its own as a coffee or tea, combined with roasted chicory root, or added to coffee to give it a delicious and healthful twist.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Cut the dandelion greens from the roots and use for a variety of delicious applications.
- Put dandelion roots in a large bowl and rinse well, several times, agitating the roots in the water to remove dirt. Continue rinsing until the water is clear and dandelion roots are a nice light tan color.
- Cut clean dandelion roots into 2-inch-long pieces, and rinse again, just to be sure all dirt is removed.
- Gently pat the roots dry, and hand-chop (or use a food processor) into small pieces, approximately ⅛ to ¼-inch. Do not chop too finely—pieces need to be large enough to roast.
- If you’re still concerned about dirt, you may wash the chopped pieces one more time and drain in a fine-mesh strainer, but you will then want to let them dry more thoroughly (spread out on paper towels, gently blot, and allow to dry for at least an hour) before roasting.
- Place chopped dandelion roots on a cookie sheet (or sheets, depending on quantity), spreading them out no more than ¼-inch deep (roots will eventually shrink down to about ¼ of their original size after roasting).
- Put cookie sheet(s) in preheated oven, and leave the oven door just slightly ajar (¼ to ½-inch) to allow moisture to escape.
- Stir every 15 minutes or so, rotating sheets once or twice throughout roasting, and roast until roots reach a nice medium- to dark-brown color, being careful not to let it burn—this may take between an hour and a half to 2 hours or more, but the aroma is lovely!
ENJOYING & STORING
After roasting, dandelion root may be ground further in a coffee grinder, or brewed in a simmering pot of water like tea. Use approximately 1 teaspoon roasted, ground dandelion root per cup (8 oz) of water (more or less depending on desired strength), and prepare as you would coffee or tea. Store cooled roasted dandelion root in an air-tight container: glass is preferred, but a metal coffee/tea tin or plastic container will work too.