Mother Earth Living

Alternatives to Coffee: Chicory Coffee Substitute

By Rachel Albert-Matesz
January/February 2002
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Makes 6 cups

When roasted and brewed, chicory and dandelion roots have a robust coffee-like flavor and aroma. Unlike coffee, they’re caffeine-free. You can make a pot, refrigerate the leftovers, then reheat as needed. A strong brew may be used to make a Mocha Frosty, pudding, custard, or ice cream. Make it strong or weak, as you like.

• 4 to 6 tablespoons roasted chicory root or roasted chicory root grinds

• 6 cups filtered water

In a saucepan: 

1. Spoon roasted roots or coffee-like grinds into an oversized tea ball. Place the tea ball in a 3-quart glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel pot with the water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until dark. If it’s too strong, add a bit more water.

In a percolator: 

1. Add the roasted chicory or dandelion root to the metal basket of a stainless-steel stovetop percolator (with or without an unbleached paper liner) and cook as above. Or, use an electric percolator, following the manufacturer’s suggestions.

Drip coffee maker: 

1. Line the basket with a coffee filter. Add roasted chicory or dandelion root, then water, and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Serve hot by itself or with organic milk, cream, unsweetened coconut milk, or almond milk. Sweeten with honey, agave nectar (cactus honey) or stevia.

3. Reheat as needed, or pour into one or more thermos bottles and seal to keep warm for several hours. When the pot runs low, add more water and 50 percent more roasted roots, then cook again. Or, toss out the grinds and start over.

4. Refrigerate the unused coffee in a glass jar. Reheat on top of the stove. Use within 4 days.

• Roasted Dandelion Coffee: Replace chicory with roasted dandelion root.

• Roasted Chicory and Dandelion Coffee: Use a 50:50 ratio of roasted dandelion to chicory root. Or, use 4 parts chicory and 2 parts roasted dandelion root.

Rachel Albert-Matesz, B.A., is a freelance nutrition journalist, healthy cooking instructor, and food coach. More than 180 of her articles have appeared in national and regional magazines and newspapers. She is currently at work on The Paleo Diet Cookbook (J. Wiley & Sons, January 2003).

Click here for the original article, Alternatives to Coffee.

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