Wildcrafted Roasted Dandelion Tea

I'll admit it. I'm in love with this drink. Not only because it tastes so earthy and creamy and healthy... but because it comes straight from our yard and I worked for it.  Perhaps it's a bit like mule deer or elk hunting for Ryan.  There is satisfaction is knowing how much work, I, and the plant, put into making this amazing drink.  Don't just take my word for it,  after reading this go out and find that patch of irritating dandelions and get started, within days you could be enjoying it with me! 

Dandelion Roots:  Here, There, and Everywhere 

 The real question is "where are there NOT dandelions? This time of year they take over neglected areas of the yard, and of course everywhere else! Reputed as a nasty weed, most Americans spray Roundup on them, but I would argue that they should be reveled as a superb healing food.

This was not a quick recipe. From beginning to end it took a week to make. This time would be much shorter by using a dehydrator, but since we had some very hot days I just left them to dry in the greenhouse. Either way, it's takes some elbow grease and patience.

Very important!!!!! Do NOT harvest dandelions that are growing in an area that you or someone else has been sprayed pesticides such as Roundup on. Roundup is glyphosate, a chemical known to cause and exacerbate many health conditions. In 20 years we have never sprayed anything in our yard, so I know the quality of the soil, but if you don't trust it, don't eat it. Roots are wonderful at taking up nutrients, and toxins from the soil- so it's best not to use roots that grow in areas of pesticide exposure. It's too bad this amazing plant has been poisoned for decades.  

Wildcrafting is a fancy term for harvesting wild foods.  This is a great wildcrafting recipe. 

Harvesting and Preparation of Roots

Here are the steps I took:

  1. It took me a full half day of digging up roots with a pitchfork and my hands from an overrun part of my front yard. If you have ever tried to organically weed your garden, you know dandelion roots are strong long and hearty, and rarely will you ever get the full root. Some of them also look like bodies with arms and legs, which I correlate to being good for our bodies!  
  2. Next after cutting all the leaves off the roots, my 2 year old Tanna and I washed each root by hand. They are pretty dirty, so a good soak is called for. If you have the patience you could peel each root, but a little dirt never hurt anyone, and honestly after drying you can just rub any excess dirt off.
  3. I then spread them on a drying rack and placed them in our greenhouse for 5 days to dry. It was warm that week, so it was possible, but had it been a normal wet and cool week in the PNW, I would have let them dry out over night, and then put them in the Excalibur dehydrator until they were completely dried- the test would be they snap like a tree branch, as no moisture remains.
  4. Once fully dried I broke the roots into small little pieces, and then laid them out on a baking pan.  I like the pizza pan with holes because it allows air to circulate around the entire root. I found that one pan of roots = 3/4 mason jar of powder.
  5. Preheat the oven to 265 degrees F, and then place the roots in for about 1 hour. You will know they are roasting when your house begins to smell like cookies🍪.
  6. Once they are done, allow to cool and  use a Powerbullet with the grinder attachment or a food processor to grind up the roots. This will supply a beautiful golden powder. These roots are tough though, sons normal blender will not do a good job.  
  7. You now have a 3/4 of a mason jar full of tasty Dandelion Root powder.  You can put it in smoothies, pancakes, etc, but my favorite way is to make a buttery tea. It's sweet, but  earthy, so you don't need much.

To make the tea:

  1. You will need a coffee press for this recipe, or tea bags that allow for a very fine grind. I like the coffee press because it allows the root to full "invade" the water, and then you can get push it right out of tea.
  2. For 2 cups add 2 tbsp of ground root, then cover and fill the 32 oz press with boiling water.
  3. Allow to steep for minutes or more. The longer the steep, the deeper the flavor.
  4. After pressing add tea to Vitamix or Powerbullet, along with 1 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee, 1 tbsp organic raw coconut oil, and then if you like sweet, 4-5 drops of Stevia.   also like to add a shot of almond milk, but this is optional.
  5. Blend, and serve. This makes two 16 oz cups of tea and is delicious!!!

Please check out the health benefits of dandelion in our healing foods section, as it is one of the most versatile and healthy foods for our liver and kidneys. Dandelion greens are also very popular in the spring, and they are great to add to salads or stir fries, but when I pulled this batch up, it was a little late in the season, which makes the leaves very bitter. The leaves could also be dried for tea as well. Every part of the plant is usable.