I hooked on coffee. There, I said it. I live for my daily cup. Or three.
While coffee may have gotten a “bad for your health” rap a few years ago, growing research is showing that moderate coffee consumption is actually GOOD for you. Which makes me a happy homesteader.
It’s the caffeine that poses a problem for some…
Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to adrenal fatigue. Quitting coffee, even short term, may help reduce some of those effects. Sounds great, right? A healthier body and life is always worthwhile!
Alas, coffee is very hard to stop consuming. And not just because of the caffeine.
It’s the flavor, the aroma, the feel of the warm beverage in your mouth. Add a bit of honey and raw cream, and I am in heaven.
Coffee is not only my way to “get going” in the morning, it’s my quiet time. Coffee with my hubby is how we start our day. When we don’t have that time in the morning, nothing else seems quite right.
Giving up coffee may be good for the health, but the habit and the things it represents are not easy to let go of.
I wasn’t willing to give up the aroma, the feel of the warm mug in my hand each morning. I wasn’t going to give up the quiet ritual I have with my hubby every day.
I love herbal tea, but herbal tea blends just weren’t the same. They were flavorful, but lacked the feel of coffee that I longed for each day. Ironic, really.
If you asked my best friend how I felt about textures, she would have laughed. I never noticed textures of food before. Maybe I’m just getting older. Or more of a connoisseur when it comes to food and beverages.
Whatever the reason, I had to figure out how to make a flavorful beverage that would taste, smell and feel like my beloved coffee.
This herbal coffee substitute does just that.
It has the flavor, aroma and feel of coffee, without the caffeine. It’s easy to make, and winding down with a cup of this in the evenings is so relaxing! I can have a cup or two of this without worrying about being awake all night!
The Benefits of Herbal Coffee
The benefits of the ingredients in this herbal coffee substitute are many. Aside from tasting great, it will also help to cleanse your liver and kidneys, aid in digestion, and improve your cognitive function.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of this coffee will help to reduce inflammation throughout your body, and the prebiotics in the barley and chicory will support a healthy gut.
So not only will you be getting all the benefits of drinking coffee without the caffeine, you’ll also be doing your body a big favor. So go ahead and brew up a cup of this “coffee” guilt-free!
Herbal Coffee Blend Ingredients
Chicory Cichorium intybus is a woody, herbaceous plant that is actually a member of the dandelion family. It’s a great source of Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K and is loaded with zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, folic acid, and potassium.
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Dandelion Taraxacum officinale (get it here) is a nutritive plant that is rich in Vitamin A, C, iron and calcium.
Barley is a nutty grain, similar to wheat. It adds a body to this herbal coffee substitute. You want to use the whole barley, not the pearled.
It’s not gluten free, so if you need to stay away from gluten entirely, you can leave this out. It won’t have the feel of coffee, but it’ll still have the flavor and aroma.
Grinding it together is necessary to keep the chicory from falling to the bottom. Otherwise, you’ll get lots of barley and dandelion at the beginning of the batch, and only chicory at the end.
Herbal Coffee Substitute
- 1/2 cup dried chicory
- 1/2 cup dried dandelion root
- 1/2 cup barley
- Measure ingredients into a bowl.
- A 1/4 cup at a time, coarsely grind with a coffee grinder or blender.
- Place ground herbal coffee substitute a quart sized mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
- To enjoy, add 1 Tablespoon in 8 ounces boiling water. Very hot water is not hot enough. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Pour through strainer, sweeten to taste, and enjoy!
What are the Health Benefits of the Ingredients?
This herbal coffee substitute doesn’t just taste great; it is great for you.
Chicory is a herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The roots and leaves of the plant are dried and powdered, and can be taken in capsule form or added to food and beverages.
Chicory is often used as a detoxifying agent, as it helps to cleanse the liver and kidneys, and is said to aid digestion and relieve bloating.
Additionally, chicory is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have even shown that chicory may help to improve cognitive function and memory.
Chicory even contains prebiotics, which are essential for gut health.
Believe it or not, those pesky dandelions that seem to take over your lawn each spring may actually be good for you.
Dandelions are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can offer a variety of health benefits.
For centuries, dandelions have been used as a natural remedy for digestive problems like constipation, indigestion, and bloating.
The roots are used to make coffee substitutes like this one (or teas) that can help promote regularity. Dandelion leaves are also a source of dietary fiber, which is important for gut health.
Dandelions, like chicory, are also known for their detoxifying properties. The compounds in dandelion greens can help support liver function and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
Drinking dandelion powder in any liquid or taking dandelion supplements may help improve your complexion by clearing away toxins that can lead to skin problems.
Lastly, but not least, we have barley. Barley is a nutritious grain that has been beloved by cultures around the world for centuries.
This humble grain is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and it has a variety of uses in both food and medicine. Barley can be cooked and eaten like rice, used to make flour for bread and other baked goods, or brewed into beer.
It is also an effective natural remedy for digestive issues, such as diarrhea and constipation. Thanks to its high fiber content, barley helps to bulk up stool and promote regular bowel movements.
Additionally, barley acts as a prebiotic, feeding the helpful bacteria in the gut and supporting a healthy digestive system.
Do Any of the Herbs Contain Caffeine?
No, none of the herbs in this coffee substitute contain caffeine. This is a caffeine free option!
Though many drinkers report feeling a natural lift from the nutrition it provides, you won’t be getting the same jolt you would from the genuine article.
How About Sweetening it Up a Bit?
Don’t want this cup of brew black? That’s okay, you can add in equally healthy sweetener or milk-substitute if you want. I recommend using a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or stevia.
A little more spice could be added using common cinnamon. If you want to add some creaminess or to smooth out the texture, try almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or a tiny dab of coconut oil.
These will all add extra health benefits of their own (and great taste!) while still keeping this coffee as close to nature as possible.
Do you drink coffee? Would you try this herbal coffee blend?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.