Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coffee and The Mighty Dandelion

This past week, we were warned that food prices were going up again. Now, some of you might have been warned weeks or months ago, but just this week, someone said the C-word.
That's right... COFFEE
My coffee prices are going up! AUGH!
*breathes deeply*
Ok, I'm in control again.
So this shock led me to starting not only stashing coffee before it goes up to $10 for 2 pounds of the stuff, but also looking into finding an "extender" that won't taste gross. Of course, that will require actual scientific experimentation.
The first step is to look into historical replacements.

Chicory comes to mind, it's been used as a coffee substitute on a commercial scale since 1970, but probably long before that. I've not tried it, but I'm sure I've seen chicory plants in our neighborhood.
Dandelion root is supposed to be tolerable. It's enjoyed a long life, mentioned first in Harper's Magazine back in 1886. In 1919, it was widely talked about as a cheap substitute for coffee. After harvesting, chopping, roasting and grinding, it's said to be a passable and tasty alternative, and as an added boost, it's good for your liver too!
I think this may be the first thing I'll try, especially since I want to harvest dandelions this year for so much else.
So many people think of the poor dandelion as just a noxious weed, but for the folks not allergic, it is so much more.
A great addition to almost anyone's diet, in so many different ways. We are getting good here at slipping in healthy food without the boys knowing; it's a little like a challenge.
The leaves are tender if harvested in early spring. They can be slipped into a salad, or boiled with spinach. These green darlings are higher in Vitamin A than carrots! They're loaded with iron, magnesium, zinc (good for alleviating cold symptoms), copper, selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamins A and K, and, I could go on and on, but suffice it to say this is a plant that we here plan on taking the MOST advantage of this year, from root to leaf and beyond!

In the meantime, I will continue to buy all the coffee I can while it's still $8 or cheaper for two pounds.
I'll let you know how my experiments go...just as soon as spring comes back!

1 comment:

Apartment Prepper said...

I am hooked on coffee myself and can't imagine giving it up. I'd be interested to find out how those substitutes turn out.