I’ve shared some of my favourite features of dandelions spring-time nourishment in my previous post Wild Edibles – Dandelions, How To Harvest and Women’s Health. Why I am so passionate about this common weed is that it is one of the first greens to make an appearance after the cold winter, and is freely available to anyone that is looking for some nourishment. Dandelion greens are not the only source of nutrition, the roots hold a lot of powerful nutrients and can easily be transformed into a nourishing alternative to your morning coffee in this Dandelion Root Latte with Turmeric and Ginger.
“Dandelion Root is one of the highest sources of the prebiotic fibre inulin which helps keep our friendly gut bacteria flourishing.”
One of the most well-researched features of dandelion root is its high content of a fibre, or prebiotic, known as inulin (1). Inulin plays an important role in feeding the friendly bacteria in our gut (think, prebiotics feed probiotics). When our friendly bacteria are well fed they produce beneficial by-products that can help protect our colon cells from cancer. A healthy digestive tract and strong gut wall mean a relaxed, yet alert immune system. If the digestive track falls out of balance, this leads to inflammation. A good concentration of friendly bacteria helps crowd out the unfriendly bacteria and this process can help protect against inflammatory conditions including insulin resistance (diabetes) and obesity (2). Other foods that are high in inulin include chicory root, oats, legumes (beans and lentils), flaxseed, onion, garlic, rye, and barley. For full prebiotic benefits consume the whole root, here is Gather Victoria’s recipe for Chocolate Rose and Dandelion Root Energy Bites.
What does it taste like? Luckily, when Dandelion Root is roasted, it resembles the sweet-bitter taste of coffee. Don’t believe me? Give it a try at home by simply purchasing dandelion root from any health food or herbal store, and roasting it for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also find Dandelion Root Lattes at many health orientated cafes, so you can try before you buy.
I love adding turmeric to my latte, which is a well-researched anti-inflammatory used to manage high cholesterol (3) and osteoarthritis (4). If you can’t find fresh turmeric, purchase a good quality turmeric powder, preferably organic.
Ginger has been used for its ability to stimulate digestion, and help manage nausea related to motion sickness and vertigo (5), morning sickness and medications. It is also used in to help with inflammation and pain related to osteoarthritis (5).
Dandelion Root Latte with Turmeric and Ginger
- 2 cups of water
- 1 " fresh ginger root thinly sliced
- 1 " fresh turmeric root thinly sliced*
- 1 tbsp roasted dandelion root see instructions for roasting here
- ¼ cup milk or milk alternative
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- Boil the ginger, turmeric root and dandelion root in water for 30 minutes. If using ground turmeric add it after the dandelion and ginger have boiled for 30 minutes.
- Strain, and then add liquid back to the pot with the milk or milk alternative and honey or maple syrup. Heat until the milk mixture is warmed to your liking.
- Before serving, option to quickly blend your drink in a high-speed blender to build some foam on top. I find this only works with a milk or milk alternative that has a fat content (organic soy milk, homemade almond milk).
Make it vegan:Use maple syrup in place of honey.
Increase the bioavailability of medicinal properties: Add a pinch of black pepper to enhance the beneficial compounds in the turmeric.
1 Trojanova I, Rada V, Kokoska L, Vlkova E. The bifidogenic effect of Taraxacum officinale root. Fitoterapia 2004;75:760-3
2 Brown, Kirsty, et al. Diet-induced dysbiosis f the intestinal microbiota and the effects on immunity and disease. Nutrients 2012;1095-1119
3 Pashine L, Singh JV, Vaish AK, Ojha SK, Mahdi AA. Effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on overweight hyperlipidemic subjects: Double blind study. Indian J Comm Health 2012;24(2):113-117.
4 Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P, Taechaarpornkul W, Buntragulpoontawee M, Lukkanapichonchut P, Chootip C, Saengsuwan J, Tantayakom K, Laongpech S. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging 2014;9:451-8.
5 Langner E, Greifenberg S, Gruenwald J. Ginger: history and use. Adv Ther 1998;15:25-44.
6 Haghighi M, Khalva A, Toliat T, Jallaei S. Comparing the effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract and ibuprofen on patients with osteoarthritis. Arch Iran Med 2005;8:267-71.