Confederate Army DANDELION COFFEE | Civil War Era Recipe | Hard Times – food from times of scarcity

Confederate Army DANDELION COFFEE | Civil War Era Recipe | Hard Times – food from times of scarcity

Greetings my beautiful lovelies! It’s Emmy.
Welcome back to another episode of Hard Times where I explore food and recipes
from times of food scarcity. Today, I’m going to be returning to the time of the Civil War, and I’m going to be making dandelion coffee. Now it wasn’t until
recently, actually, on my trip to Gettysburg with my family, that I
realized the importance of coffee in war — this gave the troops energy to march,
to fight, to rally — it was so important! Now, generally speaking, the Union Army
did not have to worry about supplies and provisions — all of that was kind of laid
out in terms of railroads; and supplies were relatively plentiful; as opposed to
the Confederacy: supply chains were often broken and things like coffee were often
hard to come by, so soldiers were very resourceful and found many different
ways to come up with a coffee-like drink. It did not contain the caffeine, of
course, but at least it was a hot beverage that tasted a bit like coffee.
Some common coffee alternatives included acorns, okra seeds, dried persimmon, dried sweet potato, and dandelion roots, just to name a few. There is lots of lots of ones that — oh chicory was a big one as well! So there are lots of different things that
people used to create a coffee-like drink. Now, here in New England we’re coming
well into spring and dandelions are everywhere — please don’t spray your
dandelions! They are so incredible! Namely if you have a beekeeper or bees around,
or if you care about bees that’s one of the first nectar sources for the bees:
they’re really, really important. So my backyard is full of dandelions: I find
them very cheerful, and historically dandelions were very, very useful. You
could eat their greens; you could make a tea or a tincture out of the roots…. So, the first thing you want to do is find a clean source of dandelions that are pesticides/herbicides/dog-free, and that happens to be my backyard. So I’ve got myself a cultivator. So let’s go ahead and harvest some dandelion roots. If you haven’t heard, these are my chickens. Let’s visit them. Hi ladies! Would you
like to come out? The girls have just turned one-years-old.
Hi! Hi, are you gonna let me pet you? Yes? It’s nice to see you. Hi. That’s my Australorp. We’ve got two Rhode Island Reds. Come here, girl! And we’ve got the beautiful Buffs — Buff Orpingtons. All right, are you guys gonna go peck around? All right,
enjoy your day! It’s best to get young dandelions even before they produced a
flower because that means more of the energy has gone into creating the
taproot which is what we want in this case. I’m digging along the root; and
we’ve been getting lots of rain recently, so the ground is nice and soft. Hi girls! There’s the taproot. That’s what we want.
You’re gonna eat…you guys are gonna eat my dandelions? I can hear the bees buzzing overhead. Ooh, here we go! Yes! Can you see that? This one’s gonna be a good one. Nice! Look at that. Yes! So, doing it by hand, rather than
using a cultivator, gives you longer roots which is nice. So, I’m gonna
snap off this top part right here, and then I’m gonna keep that root which is already pretty clean. So once you’ve harvested your dandelions — I harvested probably about twenty-five of them —
you’re going to cut off the leafy… You can save these and clean them up and use
them for dandelion salads — if you haven’t seen that Depression-era recipe video, I
will put the link above and down below — delicious, nice bitter kind of salad, kind
of similar to arugula, but comes straight out of your backyard
and it’s free. Oh, I should also mention because it’s dandelion season, you
can also use their blossoms to make a dandelion wine, which I’ve done, so look
for that video coming up soon. It will take some time for the wine to ferment
and to age so I’m waiting for that to happen before I do the whole kind of
tasting, so look for that video soon. But if you want to make dandelion wine the
time is now so yeah, start picking your dandelions!
All righty, back to this. So now that you’ve got these nice roots, we’re going to
clean as much of the soil off of them as possible outside. Bring them inside
and then use a scrub brush, and, again, remove as much of the soil as possible and use
copious amounts of cold water to get them nice and clean. Next, we’re going to
chop them up into small pieces, and then we’re gonna place them on a baking tray
in a single layer, then we’re gonna place this in a 200℉ oven for an hour or two — depending on how big your pieces are — every fifteen minutes or so
you might want to give them a little bit of toss, turn them over. And you just want
to get them nice and dry. So next we’re gonna heat up our oven to 350°.
Place the pieces back into the oven, and we’re going to roast these, anywhere from
fifteen to forty-five minutes depending on how big your pieces are, and how dark you want
your roast. I end up roasting mine for about forty minutes and they are very dry. So I tasted the root before I roasted them, and they’re quite bitter, but it was
so interesting: as I was roasting these pieces, a very sweet aroma
started coming out of the oven. It smelled a bit like sweet potatoes. It was
kind of amazing. My husband actually thought I was baking something — he’s like
“Are you baking something sweet?” I’m like. “No, honey, it’s just dandelion root.” But it
smelled so pleasant and lovely and that only came out when I started increasing
the temperature 350 degrees and then those smells started to come out. So I’m
very curious to see what this tastes like. So I’ve got two cups of water here, and we’re gonna bring this up to a boil. I’m going to add
two tablespoons of my dried and roasted dandelion roots. One… two. Ahh, it smells great! It
already smells nutty and that kind of sweet sweet potato aroma is happening. So now we’re gonna let this boil for ten minutes and then we can have a cup of
dandelion coffee. All righty, so it’s been ten minutes since I started boiling my dandelion coffee I’m gonna turn off the heat. I’m gonna use a little strainer
here, and strain out the root. And it’s darkened up a whole lot — although
essentially we’re still making a tea — this has taken on the color of coffee.
Kind of amazing! All righty, now for the moment of truth.
Let’s give this a taste. Mm, it smells really good — not
exactly like coffee. It smells roasted and nutty; toasted; sweet; a little bit like
potato skins which is not surprising because this did come from the soil.
All righty, cheers! Huh! Wow! It is really similar to coffee…in the
sense that it has a distinctive bitterness to it — a very clear pronounced
bitterness. But it is very smooth. Definitely in the family of flavors of
coffee. It doesn’t have that aftertaste: that kind of lingering aftertaste of
coffee though but it does have its kind of distinctive bitterness. None of the
acid though. It’s not acidic at all. Depending on the type of bean and the
type of the roast, coffee can be quite acidic. This doesn’t have any of that
acidity. I’ve tasted coffee alternatives before, and this gets pretty close.
It really captures the bitterness of coffee. Of course I’m drinking this black — if you were to add some milk and some sugar,
perhaps it would be more like what you’re accustomed to — but I usually drink
my coffee black and this is quite similar. But that sweet potato smell that
I was telling you about that I smelled when I was roasting it — that’s the kind
of flavor you get: sweet potato-y; a little bit of the soil… It’s good. I
like it! The flavor is a little bit different:
it’s a little bit more popcorn-y, toasty more almost bread-like than coffee
itself. Coffee beans in itself depending again on the roast and the type of
beans is really full-bodied — this is also a little bit thinner in texture in
terms of mouthfeel; again, that’s gonna depend on the style of roast and
how strong you make your coffee — I’m sure I could have made this stronger as well,
but in terms of just mouthfeel this does feel a little bit thinner, but as a
coffee alternative or substitute this is a very good one! And it came just out of
my backyard. So I’m definitely gonna go back to my yard and pull up more dandelion roots to be making more dried dandelion root because it is a great
alternative to coffee: caffeine-free but it’s a hot beverage with a nice
bitterness that is very reminiscent of coffee! I’m pretty impressed with that. So
there you have it: a backyard coffee substitute that’s actually pretty
stinkin’ good. If you’ve got some dandelions around why not try it for
yourself? Alrighty, I hope you guys enjoyed that
one; I hope you guys learned something; be sure to check out the Hard Times
playlist where I explore other historical recipes; share this video with your
friends; follow me on social media; like this video; subscribe; and I shall see you
in the next one. Toodaloo! Take care! Byeee!! I’m working out! Oh yeah!

100 thoughts on “Confederate Army DANDELION COFFEE | Civil War Era Recipe | Hard Times – food from times of scarcity

  1. Dandelion root "coffee" is actually sold as tea where I live. I am told it is good for helping digestion (liver/gallbladder(bile)/upper gut health)

  2. Not sure why this popped up in my recommends, but I enjoyed the video. I'll be sure to check out some of your other segments. Thanks!

  3. Thanks, I remember my grandmother telling about her mother making acorn coffee by roasting them and grinding into grounds during the CW

  4. My husband and I are coffee-holics. I'm watching this video in the fall, so can't try it now, but plan on trying it next spring! I'm assuming that once the dandelion roots are roasted, they can be stored for future use? Hope so. Thanks for an excellent video!! Subscribed!!

  5. I purchased a 1-litre bottle of a cheap dry white wine and added about 1 cup of dandelion blossoms to it. I let them soak the bottle for about 2 weeks. Then I strained out the flowers and enjoyed the end product. It was definitely better than the wine alone. The flowers imparted a floral fragrance and a slight bitterness to the wine. It was very enjoyable. Later this summer I did the very same thing with chicory blossoms and got the very same results. Excellent. Chicory is a very abundant roadside plant here in Arkansas, and actually I find them nowhere but along roadsides. The plants grow about waist-high and have sky-blue flowers on them about the same size and shape as dandelion flowers. They are in the same family of plants, and the roots of both are a good coffee extender.

  6. @5:46 her husband has a funny sounding voice, LOL
    I like how she used the portable propane burners to heat the water…. kind of like the Confederate soldiers used to, LOL.

  7. I read somewhere that Robert E.Lee insisted all his officers read Le Miserable, so I read it my self; what a stupid damn book! No wonder they lost the war!

  8. If it doesn't have caffeine it serves no purpose as a replacement for coffee. As an herbal tea on the other hand, It's great, but there's no way I'm going to try drinking that to wake up in the morning!

  9. Additional History of Dandelions in the US: During the 17th century, dandelions were heavily used as food and medicine.  Early colonists who came to the new settlements of the American colonies brought many items from their homeland that they thought they would need in this new land.  One of those items was the dandelion..  It was from this very early introduction in American history that dandelions began their spread across uncharted territory.  It was the common people looking for a new life who brought this plant with the simple need for something familiar in a strange new place.  Many Native American peoples also developed their own uses of the dandelion after it naturalized.  Since their introductionin to North America, dandelions have colonized the rest of the world and are just as abundant as other introduced species such as house sparrows and starlings.

  10. My uncle made this before and I remember liking it more than coffee. I'm pretty good at making coffee too. I want to do this next spring. Lovely video and adorable chickens.

  11. my great great great grandfather I was told from from grand mother that he knew all the plants learn the cures to all disease and ailments from the plants. he lived to be 110 years old s his son lived 98 and his son 99 and my dad 89 so guess all the plants do have cures

  12. I love dandelions, always have. They remind me of good times with my grandparents. Us kids wanted to go bare feet in the spring, even if there was still snow on the ground. Grandma would say, "You can go bare foot when the dandelions are in bloom!"

  13. hmmm… nice introduction to one of most available weed blowing there (in Poland) every spring 😉
    it's very likely that i'll try that if it is (what i was convinced) not poisonous 😉
    thx for the test 😉

  14. I've tried the salad and wine but not the tea/coffee. As usual, always interesting and informative. On a side note…once you hear the clock ticking in the background, you can't help but notice it.

  15. dandelions usually show a calcium deficiency in the soil. people can just add that mineral instead of spraying. but i think they are pretty! and they are a great food source and herb for urinary issues. this video is so interesting!

  16. Hi Ma'am. New subscriber here. When my wife and I were dating she made me a coffee replacement once when we had run out of the real deal. She basically toasted some rice in a dry pan. Actually she took it pretty far past toasted. Like almost burnt. It had the taste of coffee without the kick. Awesome. We've been married for quite some time now and she never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

  17. I( am going to watch this. but before I do -you need to know a little. ) back in the day they made coffee from oak tree bark. Not the same but comfort anyway

  18. dandelions and spruce make a good mead/wine too. while you're at it fry up some fresh burdock root.

    and a young dandelion doesn't mean more energy has gone into the root… they're not an annual and I get roots at least the size of my thumb from plants with stems as long as my arm in full flower.

  19. Just found your channel and subscribed. I’m wondering, how did confederate soldiers find time to make dandelion coffee, assuming they were on the march.

  20. Dandelion is a strong diuretic. Culpeper's Herbal (1653) admits they were so well known to have this property that they were called 'piss-a-beds'!

  21. Even the northern slave States drank the stuff. Luckily for them they still had supply lines coming from the big Union ports so they weren't without their cup of joe very often.

  22. Wow… you have great videos.

    I do wish that dandelion coffee had caffeine. Coffee is just the vessel that delivers it (caffeine).

  23. Perfect for my mom who is coffee lover with hypertension. It is recommended for them to avoid as much caffeine as possible. Sadly, dandelions don't grow in our region.

  24. No, she (the chicken) was just inspecting your work because she thought you were looking for bugs to eat (because that's what she does when rooting around dandelions).

  25. Half done job. Grind it after drying then roast it. Put it through a coffee machine and it gets much closer to coffee

  26. How cool is this world?!?!?
    The path of life is like a train,
    We scoop up and scoop up information as we go along,but for lack of room on said train somebody on the caboose is chunking it off as fast as we can scoop it up.
    I’m always thankful for the weirdos walking the tracks,picking up what is tossed off…..
    Not calling the chick in the video a “weirdo” ….please know what I mean!!
    She seams really really super cool!!! 😁
    “Apologies I’m not so good with words”
    This is awesome.
    My grandma survived the depression,she had many wise words that I to this day try and live my life by I remember one being very simple:
    “When In doubt,DONT!”
    I unlike her so far never found religion,but am always pleased to see someone with the sand to explore things she probably did.
    (Cobwebs on bad cuts,raw eggs and oil of caster if you were a very slow child who drank some old perfume because it smelt good?!🤭🤢)

    (Guilty ! 🙄)

    Somebody needs to be collecting all of this data,
    If they don’t,it will all
    “Up and Take a powder”
    (That means go away,without a trace)

  27. We as a people must take control of our own health. If we're not healthy, we won't last long under emergency stress no matter how prepared we are!  A large part of the illnesses that we're dying from are from the poisons that we are all taking in through our food, water, air, emfs, microwaves, etc. Decades of saturation has helped to create not only mental illnesses as we've never before witnessed, but easy ways to allow our health and mental capacity to be limited, and controlled. There are many ways to begin combatting this, and one way is a 400 year old solution that has resurfaced. As one who has been a healer and herbalist for a few decades, I truthfully can tell you that I've never witnessed such miraculous shifting in health. It all begins with the blood. If the blood is saturated with toxins, there can be no stong immune system, and no permanent healing! There's 50 years of science and research behind this solution. If interested in learning, go to liquidgoldrx/blessing.  [email protected]  No pressure, just knowledge.

  28. Haha, yeah the last video of someone making dandelion root coffee said the same thing, that when roasting it smells a bit like chocolate cake.

  29. If you boil the root and change the water a few times, it will wash out the bitterness (although you may not want to depending on the kind of person you are)

  30. love the premise. we call them "WEEDS" such a nasty word. lawn care is very sheeple, but i do it and i pull, never spray. last year some ppl were pullin Dan-dileons (as me and kids pronounce em), they told us about the tea, and how one of thier husbands is dying for some. wonder if they are a good addiction replacement. research continues..

  31. that dandelion root brought back my fear of potato eyes that I haven't had since I was ten lol. It's awesome that they are able to root so well in lawns but DAMN those things are terrifying lmao

  32. There has been research on dandelion root extract and it's ability to prevent the spread of some cancers. Go nature!

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