I finally got around to trying to roast the chicory root to try to make chicory coffee. I love the coffee substitutes you can buy: Dandy Blend (super expensive), Caffix, Roma… we call it “Kinder Coffee” around here because Ella likes to sip it. Usually a mixture of Roasted Chicory, sometimes roasted dandelion (the dandy blend), barley malt, rye, beet root powder.
You can buy straight roasted chicory in the super market, its meant to mix into coffee to lower the caffeine content. Chicory has a rich bitter flavor so it doesn’t “water down” the coffee when used like this.
Chicory - Cichorium intybus - is a roadside plant with beautiful blue flowers. Its leaves look like dandelion, except that chicory leaves are hairy (whereas dandelion leaves are hairless), and chicory leaves climb the flower stalk whereas dandelion leaves do not. Both plants have very similar properties of being beneficial to the liver. They are also both quite bitter, and are therefore good for digestion.
I washed the roots and sliced them up. I put them in a low temperature oven ~ 250 F. After a couple hours it was bedtime so I turned off the oven and left them in to dry out overnight.
In the morning I put the oven back on, alternating between 250 and 300. It was drying but not getting brown. After about 5 hours of this I just turned off the oven. It was really dried out and a little brown, but not really too much.
Next I ground it in a coffee grinder:
Then I decided to roast it in a dry iron pan over the gas burner until it did get a little brown.
I made the roasted chicory root “coffee” in a French press (using only the roasted chicory root, no real coffee):
It was very bitter! So I touched it up with some honey and cashew milk, with a little pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top:
* Note - when I make it again I will probably just dry the sliced chicory root it in the oven (or dehydrator) and dry roast it on the stove after grinding just before brewing. I may even add dandelion root (and possibly burdock root) as well, for my own Dandy (Chicory Burdock) Blend! I will dry those roots the same way, and grind and dry roast them (with the chicory) before brewing as well.