I love dandelions in my garden bed because they bring up nutrients from deep in the soil which are beneficial to many plants, it is so sad that people spend so much money to eradicate them from lawns.
Early Spring is the best time to harvest them as they are"sweeter," and late fall is also a good harvest time. But in summer leave them be as they are to bitter!!!!
The best way to harvest dandelion roots is with a pitchfork , just after a good rain, as they will be easier to dig in their entirety and this is when they are highest in nutrients as well as having smoother flavor .
To obtain your fresh roots , you have a couple of choices. You can just harvest them from the yard ( and the neighbors to if they will let you) --OR-- choose some dandelions to transplant to a chosen spot in the garden to keep them safe from pollution and pesticides, to harvest later this fall or early next spring.
One of my favorite year long treats is dandelion root coffee ground in Grandma Clara's ol' coffee grinder.
(Yes, I have another Grandmother Besides my Grama Grace..lol)
It will take about one 5-gallon bucket full of roots to make 3 or 4 quarts of roasted Dandelion Root . This will yield approximately 10 gallons of coffee
But for your first time you can start a bit smaller
you will need :
20 or more fair to good sized root, with the greens snapped ( or cut off)
good sharp knife and/or a food processor
the oven warmed to 350 degrees F.
a cool day with low to no humidity
plenty of cold water
First wash the roots by hand till as clean as you possibly can get them .( a new soft bristled tooth brush can be quite helpful in this process)
Then cut them into approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch lengths.
Put these in bowl cold water and with your clean hands agitate them a bit till the water becomes cloudy.
Drain them, and repeat this process till the water finally runs clear. ( may take several rinses till the water remains clear)
Strain and lay them in a single layer on top of a clean dish towel or White paper towels for at least an hour ( more is better)
Chop them into smaller pieces with your knife or process them in your food processor. BUT Don’t make them to small, remember that they will shrink down to about a quarter of their size when all the water is evaporated or dried out of them.
Spread these in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.. or not lined.. DO NOT oil or grease or spray the cookie sheet.Place the cookie sheet in the cooler part of your oven and reduce the heat to 200 degrees F.
Roast these till they turn a dark brown ..
about the color of a coffee bean .
and have a snap crisper than a dry twig..
Let them cool,
then store in an air tight container.
To make 6 cups of coffee you can use one of a multitude of methods. No matter which method you use, you will want to add the same things to this coffee as you would any cup of coffee you plan to enjoy..
1 grind a 50/50 mix of coffee bean and dry roasted dandelion root together in the desired amount for your style coffee maker
Place eight level teaspoons of dry roasted root per six ounces water in the grounds basket of your coffee maker and brew as your would for 6 cups of coffee (48 oz. of water ) .
Place on teaspoon dried root in to a cup of good water and bring just till boiling. Remove from heat and steep 3 to 5 min or so then strain and prep as you would any coffee and enjoy.
Or Try this ( It's one of the best ways to have dandelion root coffee!)
Ma Fey's Mocha-Momma Coffee
this makes about 4 - 6ounce mugs
1 1/2 cups strong , hot , dandelion root coffee
4 teaspoons dark chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon ( divided into 3/4 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hazelnut flavoring
1/2 cup fresh whipped cream
Put 1 teaspoon of the dark chocolate syrup into pedestal mugs ( or other style mug that is 6 ounces in volume - should be 4 mugs)
Fold 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, the nutmeg, and the sugars into whipped cream that is just to the soft peek stage.
Whip the cream a bit more until you have soft peaks once again, but not to long or it will turn to butter.
Place the last 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and the flavoring or extract into coffee, and stir
Pour coffee into cups, stir till the chocolate syrup is completely incorporated.
Top with whipped cream mixture. Serve hot .
1st Harvest Blessings Every one!
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