Why bother with a coffee substitute, and a homemade coffee substitute at that, when the real thing tastes so good?
We can touch on that in another post, but today I would like to share with you a naturally caffeine-free alternative that tastes great and is good for you as well!
I personally got off of coffee about a year ago.
My Love of Coffee
I used to drink TONS of it.
I'm not sure when my coffee habit started, but it really got exacerbated when I worked on a trading floor just after coming back from living overseas in Japan for a year.
Somehow (long story), I ended up working as a trading assistant, en route to becoming an options trader on the floor of the Philadelphia Options Exchange. I ended up taking a sideway path and landed in a teaching position at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange instead, but that's another story.
Anyhow, it was tough. Tough environment and early mornings, and I leaned heavily on coffee.
Loads of it with loads of milk and saccharine.
Not a good idea.
In fact, I remember literally drinking 2 REALLY big cups of the stuff just to get me going in the morning, and I do mean REALLY big.
Getting Off of Coffee
Anyhow, years later, when my adrenal and thyroid issues came to a head, I needed to change things, and coffee needed to go.
It took a long time for me to wean myself off of the delicious drink, but I finally did it.
But one thing that really helped was having another great tasting option that I could have every morning instead of that “cup of Joe.”
Ever wonder why it's called “Joe”? Me too. Lots of theories out there on the web, but I am not sure which one is true.
Anyhow, there are just two ingredients in this super simple substitute (well, three, if you include the water :-)). It's that simple.
And not only are you avoiding the caffeine that can be a problem for so many people, but you are also getting the wonderful health benefits of dandelion root. Dandelion roots are great for liver health.
And yes, if you really feel adventurous, you don't have to purchase dandelion roots pre cut, dried and roasted – you can dig them out of your backyard, clean them well, chop, and roast them yourself! Don't know if I'll be doing that anytime soon, but it's good to know :-).
My favorite way to drink this coffee substitute is as follows:
My Favorite Way to Enjoy Coffee Substitute
- 1 cup of coffee substitute
- Top with Homemade Coconut Milk
- 1 scoop of stevia (read this post on How to Use Stevia)
- A squirt of liquid stevia (my current favorite is KAL Caramel Cream. Here's my post for Homemade Liquid Stevia)
- Sometimes I add about 1/4 tsp cocoa or carob
- Dash of salt (I recommend Real Salt)
- 1 Tbsp of collagen powder for added protein
- About 1 tsp coconut oil
I have to say, this is just delicious! I drink at least 2 1/2 cups of this every single morning in my “Best French Press”, and if I feel like it, I will make more later in the day.
Interested in a french press and wondering which one you should buy? Read more in my post on The Best French Press.
I put a lot of research into this, so you can save time by finding out which one I use and love.
– No plastic parts
– Super sturdy
– and attractive to boot!
Other Great Add-ins for This Coffee Substitute:
Recipe Notes and Substitutions for Coffee Substitute
- Roasted Dandelion Root: Initially I was using plain (not roasted) dandelion root, and my coffee alternative tasted just fine, but it is so much richer with the roasted roots. I have no idea why I wasn't doing this from the start! Today was my first day with really rich coffee substitute, and boy did it taste great!
You can purchase roasted dandelion root or just roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until nicely browned. Often I just toast it in a pan over a medium-low heat, but you have to really watch it. It starts to burn easily…not that I've ever done that :-).)
- Coconut Milk: I love topping my coffee substitute with freshly-made Homemade Coconut Milk. Of course, I'll also use the milk that's already been made, but when it's freshly made, it has a wonderful frothy topping that reminds me of frothed milk. For more details, please see my post on Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk.
- Ice Cubes: When I pour my first cup, it is super hot. Just drop 1-2 ice cubes in your mug before pouring in your coffee substitute and you can enjoy right away!
- Filtered Water: For best taste and health, please use filtered water. See my post, Is Your Water Safe?
Flavoring Options: If you like flavoring your “coffee”, following are some great options for you:
- Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to your press along with the chicory and dandelion roots. If you don't have a press then add it to the pot and simmer with the grounds.
- I love sweetening my coffee substitute with a scoop (1/32 of a tsp – that's all it takes!) of stevia extract and then topping it off with a little flavored liquid stevia. Right now my favorite is Sweetleaf's hazelnut. Sweetleaf's English Toffee and French Vanilla are also really nice! Puzzled about stevia? I recommend[/easyazon_link] of NuNaturals, but I have heard great things about Sweetleaf's as well. (Tip: don't be daunted by the price – a little goes a LONG way.)
- Of course, a bit of carob or cocoa powder is nice too. I used to put a 1/2 Tbsp or 1 Tbsp roasted carob powder into the french press. What a rich tasting treat!
- I plan to share some additional wonderful flavoring options for coffee soon – so stay tuned by subscribing to my blog!
I so hope you enjoy this and that it helps you in your quest to break yourself of the caffeine habit. Your adrenals will thank you.
Rich and Delicious Coffee Substitute
For Lucky French Press Owners
- Bring water to a boil.
- Put chicory and dandelion root in the press.
- Add water to french press.
- Let stand for at least 4 minutes.
- Depress plunger slowly.
- Add some sweetener of choice - I use stevia (here's how to use it) plus a dash of salt and my Easiest Coconut Milk, plus a little coconut oil.
If you do not have a french press, then you can alternatively
- Place water, chicory root and dandelion root in a pot.
- Boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer and serve.
Do you plan to stop drinking coffee – let's encourage each other to kick the caffeine habit :-)!