A good cuppa tends to soothe away daily stresses, even if just for the duration of those savoured sips. A chai always hits the spot for me, but the caffeine and cane sugar content of most commercial varieties doesn’t sit so sweetly. Naturally, I started playing with alternatives…and a bitter one at that. Dandelion root has a rich, coffee-like bitterness to it when brewed into a tea or latte. Mixed with whole spices, natural sweeteners & a whole heap of home-made love…Sweet success.
4 1/2 cups of purified water
6 teaspoons of dried dandelion root/granules
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup of runny honey
2 inch section of fresh ginger
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
- Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthways
- Peel & then slice the ginger
- Add the water & honey to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the dandelion root & all spices + peppercorns . Simmer for 30 minutes (with no lid).
- Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool until & then strain the concentrate through hessian cloth, a nut bag or a sieve
- At this point, if you want a bit more sweetness you can add an extra tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. If you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.
- Allow the mixture to cool before pouring into an airtight jar or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to two week
- To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 2 part milk of your choice. Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink
Nutrition Bite: Dandelion root is a good substitute if you’re trying to eliminate caffeine from your diet as it has a similar flavour profile to coffee with the bonus of detoxifying benefits. Dandelion root granules act as a blood purifier that can help both the kidneys and the liver to remove impurities. Drinking dandelion tea can help to improve digestion. Combined with warming Ayurvedic spices & you have a healthy & healing cuppa at your fingertips!