by Brenda Bell
If I dig up a large dandelion root, how do you prepare it so that you can consume it?
Children's Castle Boutique
There are a number of ways in using dandelion roots, but one of the most common is to use the roots to make dandelion coffee.
Dandelion Coffee Recipe
Dandelion roots are harvested in the fall. Strip the leaves and give them to the chickens as they will be too old to use in salads. If you don't have any chickens then put the leaves onto your compost heap.
Now wash the roots well and rub away the little hair roots. Leave the smaller specimens and any large dandelion roots should be cut up into strips. Try and get the strips the same size as the smaller roots so that they will dry evenly.
You can either sun dry them on a wire rack until they are dry enough to snap or you can dry them in the oven. If you are going to dry the dandelion roots in the oven make sure that it is a cool oven and dry until brittle.
Once dry you will need to roast them for the dandelion coffee. Roast on a roasting pan with nothing else in a moderate oven 180 F. for 30- 60 minutes until they are a light brown in color.
Remove from oven and grind them up in a coffee grinder. Use as you would for coffee. One or two teaspoons brews a cupful of coffee that has a pleasant flavor and doesn't not have any effects that strong coffee can bring about.
Another way in which you can use the dandelion plant including leaves and roots is to make dandelion beer.
Dandelion Beer Recipe
Pull up 1 pound weight of dandelion leaves and tap roots and wash well. Add rind and juice of 2 lemons and then add 2 gallons of water. Boil for 15 minutes.
Strain the liquid over 2 pounds of raw sugar, add 2 ounces cream of tartar, and half an envelope of lager yeast.
Let the liquid stand in a stainless steel or porcelain bowls for 3 days, covering lightly. Never use aluminum containers for making herbal mixtures.
Bottle in brown or dark green bottles, cork well, and it will be ready to drink in a week. However, if you leave it for 2 weeks, - if you can wait that long - it will be better still.
The beer will be slightly bitter, and therefore better sipped and enjoyed on a warm, summer's day.
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