Have you tried roasted dandelion tea?

You may have dandelion growing in your garden or lawn (unintentionally) but before you start ripping these pesky weeds out or reach for the weed spray lets take a quick look at the impressive medicinal benefits. 

Just some of the many benefits in the leaf, stem, flower and root:

  • High levels of beta-carotene
  • Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, H, K, P, and D, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, among other nutrients.
  • Aids digestion
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Promotes liver function and an excellent liver cleanser
  • May help control blood sugar
  • May lower blood pressure
  • Used as a skin tonic internally and externally
  • Used as a diuretic, for increasing the production of urine

That's just naming a few, it should also be noted that dandelion is considered a herb not a weed. All parts of the dandelion are safe to eat in moderation - flowers, stems, leaves and roots. However, today we are focusing on the roots. 

Introducing you to roasted dandelion root:

Traditionally the roots were used as a tonic for the liver, gall bladder and kidney. It helps support a healthy appetite, digestion, and urine flow. 

The roots are carefully roasted to produce a coffee flavour and aroma. It's a healthy caffeine free alternative to coffee and can be taken with milk. Great for those who are trying to reduce their caffeine intake. 

I've called this one Dandelion Kawhe due to the taste and aroma being so similar to kawhe (coffee) and it's grown right here in Canterbury. 

Dandelion Field

Identify your wild harvested plants

Identify wild plants before consuming. If you are going to venture into your garden and harvest dandelion, identify the plant first. The ‘Teeth’ on edge of leaves point back towards base. The leaf also has white sap. 

How to roast home grown dandelion root

It's a bit of a mission roasting your own dandelion roots especially if supplying to retail. If you are interested in trying small batches of tea here is an easy recipe:

Wash the dandelion roots thoroughly and cut off the stringy roots leaving small chunks of root. Roast in the oven for 2 hours on 180c turning and checking often. They will burn easily if too hot, keep an eye on your settings. I set the alarm every 15mins to check.

Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons in a mug of hot water for 10 minutes before enjoying. Store leftover roasted dandelion root in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. 

March 23, 2021 — Annette Eggers

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