Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chicory Tea

     I am teaching a class at our Homeschool co-op, on homesteading skills. Each week I am focusing on a different traditional skill that can possibly be condensed into an hour long class. Last week we canned pickles, and this week we are foraging.
     I foraged a lot as a child, but not much as an adult.  I am trying to get back into it, though, and actually prepare dishes from foraged food.  I've made some tasty dandelion dishes this spring, and today I made chicory root tea for the first time. I was very impressed with the flavor; like nutty, rich black tea. I will be serving it during my lesson tomorrow.
      It was very easy to make. The hardest part was cleaning the dirt off the roots. I used a butter knife, and scraped them clean. The basal leaves of chicory look almost identical to dandelion, so I only pulled up plants that had flowers. Dandelion roots are edible too, but I wanted to know what I was getting.
     After cleaning the roots, I chopped them up and roasted them at 350 for about two hours. It looked like dried up bits of twigs when they were done. I did not grind it before making it into tea, but just put about a tablespoon into a tea ball, and poured 8 - 10 oz of boiling water on it, and let it steep. I drank it with cream and sugar, which is probably why it tasted so good.
     While roaming around outside, I couldn't help but notice the way the nectar gathering insects love my Autumn Joy. I have several of these plants in my yard, and each one is covered with bees and butterflies!

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