Learn how to make dandelion tea with the season and its benefits. You can make this caffeine-free herbal infusion from the dandelion’s flowers, leaves, or roots.
There are many reasons to eat dandelions; the easiest way is to make a herbal infusion. The exciting part is that all parts of dandelions are edible and suitable for creating a nourishing drink. While in springtime, one should make an infusion from the flowers or leaves; autumn is the best for roasting dandelion tea from roots.
Yellow dandelions pop up everywhere from early spring. I usually start to forage them before the flower and stem are developed. The young buds are crunchy and tasty; I use them to make delicious capers.
Autumn is the right time for collecting roots. Roots are often used for making bitters or tea.
What Is Dandelion Tea?
Dandelion tea is a caffeine-free herbal drink made by brewing dandelion blossoms, leaves, or roots. Each part has different medicinal benefits and tastes so by mixing and matching various parts of the dandelion, you can make an ideal infusion.
Health Benefits of Dandelion tea.
Even though dandelions are considered weeds, they are potent plants that offer various health benefits.
Dandelion flower tea
Dandelion flowers are packed with antioxidants and contain 115 times more polyphenols than roots.
They contain luteolin which has anti-inflammatory properties and may ease headaches and menstrual cramps or support eye health. They also contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene that help prevent cell damage.
Dandelion leaf tea
The greens are very nutritious and provide an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium or potassium. In addition, they support good digestion by stimulating the flow of gastric juices and increasing the excretion of bile.
The greens also have a natural diuretic effect helping to drain the kidneys and bladder.
Dandelion root tea
On the other hand, the Dandelion root contains inulin, a prebiotic starch playing an essential role in gut health. Its effect is mainly beneficial for people who have diabetes as the root stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas and keeps blood sugar levels low. To ease liver ailments, you should consume Dandelion Root Tea.
In addition, dandelion root is rich in iron and may help you with iron deficiency.
Foraging dandelion for herbal tea.
Collect them from areas that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, and avoid places with high levels of air pollution, such as highways or busy roads.
You can forage the flowers when they start to bloom and finish before they turn into seeds.
Pick a sunny day when their heads are fully opened. Although their yellow petals are sweet and tasty, the green base of the flowering head is bitter. So before using them in your dandelion infusion, you can easily pull the petals off and remove the base, especially the green sepals (they look like tiny leaves).
The timing to harvest their leaves matters. If you collect them before flowers bloom from the inside of the plant, they are delicious and tender. With more sunlight and slower growth, they become bitter.
You can forage them twice a year. The first harvest is in early spring before the plant starts to blossom. Spring roots are less bitter and chewy, which makes them easier to eat. Spring roots also contain taraxacin which stimulates the production of bile.
The second chance to gather the dandelion root is in the late fall when the level of inulin is higher, and the level of fructose is lower. Winter freeze converts the inulin into fructose.
I always use this dandelion digger that helps me to extract whole roots, not just small bits.
Dandelion tea recipe
While all parts are edible and nutritious, with numerous health benefits, different parts address different issues. As you might expect, tea made from different parts of the dandelion will taste different.
from fresh or dried flowers
Drying concentrates the flavor and can give the tea a slightly bitter taste. Therefore, when making an infusion from dried dandelions, use less than when you make it from fresh.
To make one cup.
Gather five fresh dandelion flowers or one tablespoon (12 grams) of dried dandelions.
Remove the green base, especially the green sepals of the flowering head, as they are bitter. The pollen is the carrier of taste so I prefer not to wash them. Mechanically remove all bugs and place the yellow flowers in the tea ball.
Pour one cup of boiling water over and steep it for 5 to 8 minutes.
Strain the flowers and drink it.
Add any natural sweetener as per your taste. I like dandelion honey or stevia leaves that I add to the hot water and steep with the flowers.
Dandelion flower tea has a lightly sweet flavor.
Note: To dry dandelions, spread them on a newspaper or screen in a single layer. Place it in a warm place out of direct sunlight and let them dry naturally for several days. Alternatively, buy them at Mountain rose herbs. Once your plants have been dried, store them in an airtight glass jar.
dandelion leaf tea
First step – Gather the leaves.
You can use dried or fresh leaves when making leaf tea. Just gather one handful of fresh dandelion leaves or one tablespoon of dried leaves for one cup of tea and wash them thoroughly before using them in tea. Then, cut them into smaller pieces and place them in a tea cup.
Pour one cup of boiling water and let them infuse for 10 minutes.
Strain them and serve the tea cold or warm with a sweetener or lemon to taste. Some people enjoy it with a hint of milk.
A dandelion infusion made of fresh leaves has bright green color and flavor. However, I found the tea made of dried dandelion greens bitter.
Roasted Dandelion root tea aka Dandelion coffee.
In the same way as Chicory coffee, Dandelion root tea is used as a coffee substitute for people who want to eliminate caffeine or reduce its consumption. Its smoky taste and dark color remind coffee rather than tea; thus it is often called dandelion coffee. You can achieve the perfect flavor and color by roasting their roots.
First step – Gather the root.
Collect five pieces, and wash them thoroughly. Then, use a knife to clean it properly and cut it into small pieces.
Using your coffee grinder, you can also use dried roots and grind them into a fine powder.
Second step – Roast them in the oven.
Place the pieces on a baking tray and let it roast in the oven for 80 minutes (360 F = 180 C) or until you can smell the rich coffee aroma. Then, remove it from the oven. You can also roast the roots in a pan on medium-high heat and stir until they become golden brown and fragrant.
Place them in the saucepan with one cup of water
Pour over one cup of cold water and simmer it for 15 minutes.
Strain the roasted roots and serve it with milk and sweeteners.
This tea can serve as a dandelion detox tea.
Spicy dandelion root tea
To make the tea spicy and tasty, I like to follow my friend Susan from the Learning and Yearning recipe, where she adds cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, anise, and other spices to the mixture and simmer them together with dandelion root. The spices make the tea very tasty and unique. Strain the spices and dandelion root, add milk or dandelion honey as a sweetener and enjoy!
Dandelion root iced tea
Brew dandelion root tea as per the instructions above and add the juice of 1 lemon. Place it in the refrigerator for a few hours to cool.
Serve the tea with the flowers in the glass or strain them out if preferred.
YOu can keep the dandelion infusion in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
How does dandelion tea taste?
Each part of the dandelion tastes different. While dandelion flower tea is slightly sweet, leaf tea has a more green flavor with a bitter end. Roasted root tea has a stronger, deeper aroma that stands out when used with spices.
How to make dandelion tea taste better?
If you don’t like its bitter notes, add sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup, to adjust it. Alternatively, a splash of milk or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom or allspice helps you to balance its flavors.
While most people enjoy drinking dandelion tea, some people should check with a healthcare professional first. Dandelion could trigger allergic reactions in people allergic or sensitive to ragweed. Also, people are on certain medications like diuretics, medicine for kidneys, or people taking certain antibiotics.
Dandelions have been employed in traditional medicine to encourage lactation. In any case, research has not established whether dandelion tea is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, it is advised that you speak to a doctor before consuming dandelion tea.
You can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for another two days. No preservatives are added to this infusion, so I don’t recommend storing it longer than refrigerated.
Which part of dandelion to use to make a dandelion tea detox recipe?
While dandelion root is the best for detoxifying the liver and gallbladder, dandelion leaves help to detoxify kidney function. You can combine both parts of the dandelion. Once you finish simmering the dandelion root, add dandelion greens and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Then, strain it and add sweetener to taste.