"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poor Man's Coffee

We grow Belgium endive for winter greens but that is not all we use it for. We make a coffee substitute from the dry roasted roots. In appearance it is quite similar to coffee, I personally think it also has a coffee like taste...just no caffeine. It is supposed to have many health benefits.


Having used the tops in a salad or stir fry we pull the roots and wash them. They can be a quite a hairy root.

I usually just use my fingers to pull the root hairs off and then use a potato peeler to finish the job. Try to leave as much of the skin on as possible, I think it improves the flavor and health benefits.

Chop the ends off and dice up all the scraps for your chickens or mulch pile.

Then simply slice the roots about 1/8 " thick, place on a tray in the oven, and roast at around 225° for about 2 hours. They can also be dehydrated or dried over a wood stove but may lose the roasted flavor.

The finished product is then ground up fine for a coffee maker or more coarsely for a percolator. You only need to use about a third of the amount you would coffee.

The same thing can be done with dandelion roots, I have tried that but much prefer endive. The biggest problem is keeping my wife out of the chips which are delicious on their own - she eats them faster than I can grind them. While quite satisfactory by itself, we usually do a 70-30% mix of coffee to endive.


babbler said...

I just want to tell you what a great blog you have! If I hadn't stumbled upon your blog, I would not be hep to the Belgian endive. Thanks! From "Mrs. Slug"

Mr. H said...

Thanks babbler,
I discovered endive a few years ago and can't live without it. I am drinking some as we speak, and also had some of the greens in my breakfast salad this morning.

Have a great day

Rhonda Jean said...

Hello Mr H. I came across your blog via Nita at Throwback Creek and this is my first visit. I've enjoyed reading here very much.

Your post about chicory coffee brought back memories of my mother drinking it when I was growing up in the 50s. It was very interesting seeing how it is produced.

I showed my husband your chicken house and we both liked the look of your chicken food mix.

It is good to see others producing their own food and finding independence and freedom along the way.

Mr. H said...

Rhonda Jean,

Thanks for stopping by. Looks like I will have some reading to do also...nice chickens.

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