It's so very simple and rewarding to make wonderfully fragrant, tasty dandelion root tea from dandelion roots you've harvested yourself.
There are many delicious teas available for purchase online and in local markets, groceries, and specialty tea shops - but sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than making your own tea from plants you've harvested yourself!
A great way to venture into the world of making herbal teas from scratch is with dandelions - they are so plentiful, beneficial, and flavorful. And, you don't even need to have your own indoor or outdoor herb garden, because dandelions can be found almost everywhere and don't need extra attention from us to flourish!
Dandelion tea can be made from the plant's leaves, flowers, or roots, or any combination of these (you'll find a recipe for Dandelion Leaf Tea here). Beneficial dandelion root tea has a deep, rich flavor and is often used as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee.
Once you've tried making this somewhat bitter herbal tea from scratch and enjoyed its many health and wellness benefits, it's sure to become one of your regulars.
Ready to enjoy some fresh dandelion root tea? Dig a few dandelion roots (try a dandelion fork or a garden spade to ensure you get most or all of the root, without snapping it off).
Give the roots a very thorough wash - you may want to give them a good rinse with the garden hose before bringing them indoors to wash again in the sink. A vegetable brush is a very effective dandelion root cleaner. Some people prefer to peel the roots, just to make sure there's no remaining dirt.
Then, chop the root into small (1/4" - 1/2") pieces (a food processor makes quick work of chopping), and add them to a pan.
Cover with fresh, clean water, and bring your tea to a boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, strain, and enjoy!
You may find that a bit of sweetener (like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar) or citrus (lemon or orange) will make this dandelion root tea recipe even tastier.
Roasted dandelion roots have a more robust taste than fresh roots, and make a lovely, aromatic tea.
To roast dandelion roots, simply spread the washed, chopped roots evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet, and let them roast in a very slow oven (around 200F) for 2 to 3 hours, until they've turned a nice dark brown color - almost coffee colored.
If you'd like, leave the oven door open to let moisture escape and speed up the drying process. And, give the pan a shake or the roots a stir every so often while they're roasting. Your kitchen will smell absolutely wonderful while the roots roast!
A food dehydrator is also a wonderful option for drying dandelion roots for tea.
With roasted dandelion roots, a decoction makes a richly colored, delightful tea (just simmer 1 to 2 tablespoons roasted roots in 1 1/2 to 2 cups water for 10 to 20 minutes). Or, you can infuse the dried roots - cover and steep 1 tablespoon of roasted roots in 8 oz. (about 250 ml) just-boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Once cooled, the roasted roots can also be coarsely ground in a small food processor or a coffee or spice grinder, and then brewed in a French press, just like making coffee.
Dandelion root tea is very tasty served with a bit of honey, a cinnamon stick, maple syrup, citrus, or even cream and sugar (just as you would with your regular coffee).
If you've roasted a nice large batch of dandelion roots, store the extra roots in an air-tight glass container (remember to add a label with the contents and date) in a cool, dry spot, and use within a year's time.
As with any herbal tea recipe, the quantities, proportions, and steeping times given in these dandelion root tea recipes are just general guidelines, so don't be afraid to experiment with different amounts and brewing times until your cup of tea tastes just right to you. We're more apt to include beneficial teas in our diets if we enjoy the taste!
And dandelion tea (like many other teas) isn't only a delicious beverage - it can provide topical benefits for us, too! Why not treat yourself to a healing, refreshing dandelion tea bath?
Please remember, not every herbal tea is the best choice for everyone. Check with your trusted healthcare provider about dandelion tea for you and your household before making it a regular part of your day. And, you can learn more about potential Dandelion Tea Risks and Side Effects here.