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Caffeine-Free, Vegan Coffee Alternative

After months of tea as my only caffeinated beverage, one summer morning I found myself salivating at the sight of a tall, creamy iced coffee a coworker was sipping. I don’t believe in depriving oneself in the name of health, and I figured there could be a creative alternative that would be both healthy and delicious. Enter dandelions?!

I love the taste of coffee but am not a fan of over-caffeinating myself nor adding acid-producing foods to my body. AND decaf coffee is actually more acidic than the regular stuff due to the type of beans used (read about this more here). If you’re not familiar with the importance of  PH balance and alkaline-producing foods, read this article from Naturally Good Magazine. If you’re lazy, just believe me when I say that, basically, higher levels of acidity overtax the body’s immune system, leading to a laundry list of possible diseases and physical problems, from fatigue and weight gain to cancer. So having coffee just for the taste wasn’t worth it to me.

After some research and experimentation, I was unimpressed with many coffee substitute recipes I tried until I stumbled upon Dandy Blend. Turns out the roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye combine to taste uncannily like coffee, not to mention, they’re all gluten-free (as extracts), health-promoting foods that provide over 50 trace minerals in each cup. By the way, they don’t pay me a dime to say any of this (although I would accept a lifetime supply of Dandy Blend *wink*wink*).

DinebyDesign_CoffeeAlternative_DandyBlend

Try this recipe if you’re raw, vegan, or just want to ease yourself or a loved one off the hard stuff. I think it’s perfect hot or cold, although my dad and brother found the taste strange after their warm cups cooled down.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond, cashew, or other nut milk
  • 2 Tbsp Dandy blend (or more for bolder taste)

Optional Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp maca powder (adds energy)
  • 1-2 tsp ashwagandha (adds energy)
  • raw cacao (to taste)
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash sea salt
  • honey, maple syrup, or date syrup to sweeten more (taste before adding; there’s already some naturally-occurring sweetness from the fructose in the dandelion and chicory roots)

Directions

  • Blend or shake all ingredients together.
  • Heat or drink iced/raw.
Caffeine-Free, Vegan Coffee Alternative

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4 comments

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  • G Free and Amazing - January 7, 2014 reply

    Do you know how Barley and Rye extracts are gluten free? I love coffee but not the caffeine or stomach aches from the acidity.

    Dine by Design - January 7, 2014 reply

    Hi there! Dandy Blend’s website explains it best:

    “Dandy Blend is made of the water-soluble extracts of five ingredients; three roots and two grains (barley and rye), not from the ingredients themselves. The ingredients are roasted separately and then combined in prescribed proportions, placed into a vat, covered with hot water, and allowed to steep for a prescribed period of time. The water, with the soluble portions of all the components, is separated from the grounds and spray dried. The remaining fine brown powder left after the water is driven off is what becomes Dandy Blend. All the gluten and other water-insoluble substances are left behind in the grounds to be composted.

    Hence, there is no gluten in Dandy Blend. Goosefoot Acres periodically submits samples of Dandy Blend to Elisa Technologies Laboratory in Florida, one of the most respected gluten testing labs in the United States for analysis, and so far, every test has come back gluten-free.”

  • Larry Gingrich - January 11, 2014 reply

    Hey, most any hot drink tastes strange to me after it cools down. Overall this drink is very good.
    Dad

    Dine by Design - January 13, 2014 reply

    Haha very true! Thanks Dad 🙂

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