Now I love real coffee like the next person, but as part of my new, more relaxed lifestyle I have decided to have no more than two cups of coffee in the morning - which leaves the rest of the day to other interesting beverages.
Last year we tried making dandelion coffee, which was interesting and quite tasty (although nothing like the real thing!). I have used up our supply and will have to make some more ...
I went out in the garden and found a few straggly dandelion plants. (Not the best time of year for weeds - apparently). The roots are thin - but it's better than nothing!
Wash the roots and remove the leaves. Dry the roots for a couple of days on a radiator or somewhere else fairly warm and dry.
Chop the roots into pieces 1/2" (1cm) long and roast in the oven on gas mark 6/
/400F for 30 minutes or until they look brown in colour and have a nutty, roasted aroma. They should be completely dry at this stage.
Allow the dandelion root to cool then finely grind, and roast a second time in an oven for another 10-15 minutes on gas mark 4/180°C/350F. Cool and store in airtight container.
To brew the coffee:
For each mug of coffee (usually 200ml or 8 fl oz of water), use 1-2 teaspoons of the roasted root.
Add the root to simmering water and continue to simmer while covered for 7–15 minutes.Strain into a mug and add sugar and milk as required.