Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicory - The New Coffee

Chicory root has been used for a long time as a coffee substitute, and the long stalks are all that grows in our lawn <*ahem*> weed patch this time of year. I pulled up a dozen or so roots, peeled them with a potato peeler, and set them out to dry for a few days. I spend about half a minute trying to shred it on a grater and decided my corona mill would be a much better option. The only problem was, the roots were still too wet to grind up easily. I set the oven to a low temperature (about 225) and propped the door open with an oven mitt.

Three hours later they looked dried enough and slightly browned, so I broke them into pieces and put them through the mill. My yield was enough to make maybe 2-3 cups of 'coffee' so I decided to try a cup and see if it would be worth my time to go forage for some more. As you can see the color it yielded was much darker than the roots are, and it looks pretty much like a cup of coffee should. The flavor has the correct bitterness, though there is a strange marshmallow-like flavor in there as well. All in all I consider it an acceptable substitute, I plan to produce more for market day (only 3 days away!)

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