Dandelions thrive in meadows, fields, the side of the road, and in our backyards. The happy sun-colored flowers are a common sight, and are even (unfortunately) considered a weed. Despite the weed classification, dandelions are a prized wild edible — all parts are edible and contain a variety of medicinal benefits.
The root of a dandelion is used as a bitter liver cleanser, an alterative, and a digestive stimulant. Drinking a dandelion root decoction regularly can help aid digestion and support our livers; long-term use of dandelion root can help clear skin irritation, acne, and other skin manifestations associated with a stagnant liver.
Overall, many people use dandelion root as a coffee substitute — one that provides a rich flavor and herbal benefits without caffeine jitters.
Ingredients for Dandelion Root Coffee:
Roasted Dandelion roots OR you can harvest your own — just be sure to clean them **Note : if the Dandelion roots are not roasted, you will need to place them in the oven at 375 °F to roast them until browned but not burnt
Sugar, honey, or other sweetener
Organic milk, soy milk, almond milk, or other milk substitute
There are 2 ways to make Dandelion root coffee. The first way is to make a decoction and the second way is to grind the roots up in a coffee grinder and use like coffee grounds in an automatic coffee machine or a french press.
Method 1: Decoction
Take 1oz of roasted Dandelion roots and chop them up. In a pot on the stove, bring 1 pint of water to a boil and add in the roots. Lower the heat until simmering, and let simmer for ~20 minutes (liquid should be about halved).
After 20 minutes, strain the decoction through a sieve, cheesecloth, or jelly strainer bag into a clean jar.
Next, add in the sweetener and milk (if desired). Screw the lid on tightly and shake well before serving.
Don’t forget to label with the name, date, and ingredients! Store in the fridge.
Method 2: Coffee Grinder
Take the roasted Dandelion roots and place them in a coffee grinder. If using an automatic coffee maker, you will want to finely grind the roots. However, if you are using a french press, make sure to only coarsely grind the roots.
Once ground, add to your choice of coffee maker and make some coffee! Add in your choice of sweeter and/or milk.
If storing for later use, don’t forget to label. Keep in the fridge.
Learn how to confidently identify plants using their unique family patterns in this in-depth video by author of Botany in a Day, Thomas Elpel!
*** For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a qualified health care practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing or on any medications. ***
*** Please read our Honorable Harvesting Guidelines before harvesting any plant material. The final guideline is of utmost importance: “Never put anything in your mouth unless you are 100% sure it is safe to ingest.” ***
Hannah began her apprenticeship at Wolf Camp in 2013 and graduated as a lead herbal instructor in 2014. Join Hannah and other Wolf College wild chefs during our annual Wild Cooking & Ethnobotany Expedition: The Herbal Foray the second week of July on Lake Sammamish near Seattle.
Hannah graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages. She has her own blog, where she writes about her love for crafts, animals, plants, cooking, and the outdoors: rainmountaincrafts.com