Though coffee may not necessarily be bad for you (unless you are loading it up with processed sugars), there are many people who can’t consume the drink due to health issues.
The caffeine for some can cause anxiety and restlessness, while others suffering from candida, adrenal issues or even thyroid disease can have adverse reactions to coffee. Coffee is a beloved drink for most however, and it can be hard to go without a morning cup of joe.
While some people can switch to herbal teas with success, many are still left missing that rich, deep flavor that only coffee can give.
Thankfully, coffee isn’t the only rich drink out there! Dandelion root or chicory root “coffee”, which is really a tea, is commonly used as a substitute for coffee due to its roasted and slightly bitter flavor.
Of course, a true coffee flavor is unique to the coffee bean, but the closest alternative in terms of flavor is dandelion root or chicory root. Both roots can be used separately to create a coffee like drink, but most people like to combine the two to achieve the best coffee flavor, and also reap all of the benefits!
Health Benefits of Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is completely caffeine free, so making the switch from brewed coffee would allow you to cut back on your caffeine intake. Caffeine, while not unanimously considered to be bad for you, can cause an increased heart rate, insomnia, anxiety and even tremors.
Many medications interact with caffeine as well, making it unsafe to drink while on the medication. Dandelion root coffee is a naturally caffeine free way to still enjoy the comforts of coffee without the jitters that can come with it.
Rich in Nutrients
In large amounts, the caffeine in coffee can cause your body to leach calcium, essentially taking away the important nutrient from your bones.
Many people do not simply have one cup of coffee a day, so each day they could be ridding calcium from their bones by consuming too much caffeine.
Because it is caffeine free, dandelion root does not cause this effect on the body. In fact, the root provides vitamins A, B, C and D as well as the minerals potassium, iron and zinc.
Dandelion root also provides antioxidants vitamin A and carotenoids, which fight off damaging free radicals.
This coffee gets an extra boost of flavor from chicory root, another caffeine free root that is commonly used together with dandelion root to create a coffee substitute.
Chicory root supports digestion, provides antioxidants, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation in the body and has been shown to be antibacterial as well as antifungal.
Health Benefits of Chicory Root
Chicory is often used for its ability to improve digestive system functions. Chicory contains inulin, a powerful probiotic that helps maintain a healthy gut. Many plants contain inulin, however chicory is the richest source. Inulin is used to treat a number of intestinal and digestive issues such as acid reflux, indigestion, and heartburn.
Traditionally used as a treatment for arthritis, chicory root has been found in studies to have significant anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it works to help reduce the pain from conditions such arthritis. In a study performed in 2010, 70 percent of participants who received chicory for treatment noticed a significant improvement in their pain condition due to arthritis.
How To Make Dandelion and Chicory Root Coffee
If you aren’t interested in making your own dandelion and chicory root coffee at home using the actual roots, there are plenty of alternatives! I recommend Dandy Blend, which is considered to be one of the best dandelion root blends available. These come in tea bags like any other tea would, and you simply boil water and let the bag steep for a few minutes before enjoying.
Caffeine Free “Coffee”
- 1 tablespoon chicory root, roasted and granulated
- 1 tablespoon dandelion root, roasted and granulated
- 4 cups water, filtered
- Place all ingredients into a pot
- Boil water and let ingredients simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove roots
- Add sweetener if desired
The best part about making the dandelion and chicory root coffee from scratch is being able to add in different spices and flavorings!
- Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the water when boiling for a spicy treat
- Add 1/2 tablespoon roasted carob or cocoa powder along with the roots for a hint of chocolate
- For sweeteners, look for a flavored Stevia such as Sweetleaf’s English toffee!
While nothing can ever truly replace that bold coffee taste, dandelion and chicory root make a fine alternative. Bold in its own right, the combination of the two roots will surely find their place in your morning routine.