Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Isn’t it weird how new things make old familiar things seem foreign? Like bumping into your teacher at the grocery store. Or that first brush with a new toothbrush. Or strolling through your garden barefoot. There’s a moment of floundering followed closely by a jolt of recognition. (Oh right! That’s how I brush my teeth!)

That’s similar to what happened to me when I was first introduced to dandelion tea. I imagined it to be some exotic process unlike anything I’ve done in my life. So it was with an embarrassing amount of surprise and a small jolt of recognition that I realized that making dandelion root tea is just like making… tea. It involves an almost too shrill kettle, an herb, and some steeping time.

If you are the diy type, you can wait till the first hard frost and forage your own roots from your backyard. If you’re not quite so adventurous (or you just can’t wait till the first hard frost) you can buy the roots at most well stocked natural grocery stores. You can also purchase them online from Mountain Rose Herbs. If you know an herbalist in your area, it’s worth checking with them as well. However you get them, you’ll want to roast the dried roots, which is a pleasure rather than a chore. The roasting roots make your kitchen heavy with the smell of strong brewed coffee and buttery sugar cookies.

Why would you want to make dandelion root tea? Let me answer with another question. Have you ever had an experience where you ate or drank something and felt down to your bones that it was the exact thing your body needed at that moment? Maybe it was a charred grass-fed steak, or a spoonful of fermented salsa, or even salty french fries. Whatever it was, it answered a craving you didn’t even know you had.

That’s why I drink dandelion root tea. I could say it’s because of it’s diuretic properties that gently cleanse the blood and support the liver; unlike other diuretics that leech potassium, dandelion root tea gives a net gain of potassium. It’s also rich in magnesium, a mineral that has a lot to do with your mood and ability to cope with stress. I could also say that I drink dandelion root tea because of its high calcium content, which is important for healthy bones and teeth.

I could say all those things. And they’d be true. But the real reason I drink this tea is the way I feel my body respond with a chorus of “Yes!” from every organ, every curve, every cell.

Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

a palmful of roasted dandelion roots
boiling water
a pint jar

If the roots are not already roasted, spread them in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 350° for 10-15 mintures, until they are dark brown and their bittersweet aroma fills your kitchen. Allow to cool completely and store in an air tight jar. Measure out a palmful of the stored roots. Pour the roots into a pint sized jar. Pour boiling water to just below the top. Allow to steep for at least four hours. Strain and enjoy warm, gently reheated, or over ice. The roots can be used again to make a second, weaker infusion.

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Posted in Uncategorized 10 years, 3 months ago at 4:10 pm.

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