Have you ever heard of Dandy Blend? It’s an herbal coffee alternative, and I was introduced to it while camping for Sukkot this year. I’d recently quit drinking coffee, so this was a lifesaver the morning after sleeping in a tent. On very hard ground. Did I say sleeping? I wouldn’t actually call it sleep when I felt like I woke up as soon as I fell asleep, over and over all night! As a result, I felt absolutely awful the next morning. And I wanted coffee. In the worst way. Which created a problem, since I had quit drinking coffee not long before and replaced my morning pick-me-up with tea. There was no way tea was going to work that morning. Pfft.
There was a bag of Dandy Blend on the hot beverage table in the “mess hall” and I picked it up and looked at it. “Instant Herbal Beverage with Dandelion.” Interesting. Gluten free. Awesome. Caffeine free. Not necessarily an issue for me, unless I want to drink coffee before bed. No acidity and no bitterness. Sounds great! But, how would it taste?
The back of the bag claims a “rich, smooth full-bodied coffee flavor” which is exactly how I like my coffee. The ingredients listed were extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and sugar beet. Wait a minute…barley and rye AND it’s gluten free? I was skeptical, but desperate for coffee so I decided to take my chances.
I’m so glad I did! That first sip of warm, dark goodness tasted remarkably like coffee. There is also a very subtle, different kind of underlying taste that is hard to describe. I suppose it’s “roasted root” flavor. But, overall it tastes enough like coffee to satisfy even me, a former barista with very particular taste buds and lover of all things espresso.
I emailed the company to ask for a sample (and you can too, just go to Dandy Blend and request one!), since there are varying ways to make it. One level teaspoon in 8 ounces of hot water results in a very “tea” like beverage, while a heaping teaspoon up to one tablespoon yields something more along the lines of espresso. In the middle is a rounded teaspoon for rich, full-bodied coffee taste. I wanted to experiment with the differing strengths, and the recipes on the bag intrigued me, such as Dandy Cafe Lattes and Dominic’s Dandy Coffee Ice Cream.
They sent a generous sample for me to try and review and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know “the many faces of Dandy Blend” – which is also the title of the little cookbook that came with it. I’m an espresso kind of gal myself, so I put a big ole spoonful in and sometimes a bit more. Then I add what I normally would to coffee, a little raw cream and some sucanat. I also decided to get creative and see what else I can do with Dandy Blend. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed:
Dandy Iced Pumpkin Latte Super simple! I mixed a cup and a half of raw milk with two tablespoons of Dandy Blend, three tablespoons of Pumpkin Puree, a splash of pure vanilla extract and some sucanat to sweeten it a bit. Stirred well and added ice. Delicious! Mister loved it, and I love that I can give him “coffee”. He always asks for Dandy Coffee now!
My version of Dominic’s Dandy Coffee Ice Cream Ice cream is my weakness, and one of the few “junky” foods I buy with any regularity. I just can’t help myself. It’s terrible, I know. I had wanted to try this Dandy Coffee Ice Cream so with the last bit of some “turtle tracks” ice cream (which was mostly vanilla), I stirred in some Dandy Blend. I was really surprised at just how much it tasted like coffee ice cream! That subtle flavor I notice in my morning cuppa Dandy Blend is not there at all. It just tastes like coffee. Amazing! Love. Love. Love. Although, bad for my ice cream addiction.
We were focusing on the letter B last week, and so decided that we should bake something. We decided on Baking Brownies for B Week, and since I love to put coffee in my brownie batter, I decided to use Dandy Blend instead.
I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, since it would make for a very long post if I put it here now! You can view and print the recipe here. Suffice it to say, they were simply amazing. Be sure to stop back and check it out, especially if you love brownies and coffee!
Overall, I was very impressed with Dandy Blend. I noticed with dismay that I’m almost out of it already, so I’ll have to order some more. I really love this stuff! Not only does it taste good, but it’s good for you, too. According to their site, Dandy Blend contains over 50 trace minerals in each cup, most of which the body uses to help synthesize compounds needed in metabolism. And, their FAQ page answers many questions, like how can it be gluten free if there’s rye and barley extracts in it? It’s a kind of complicated process, so if you’re really curious check it out!
Dandy Blend is safe for pregnant and nursing women, children of all ages, and does not cause any side effects. Some people report an increase in energy, but not like you’d have with coffee. I have not noticed a remarkable increase in energy myself, but then I typically only drink one cup a day (same as my previous coffee habit). I love that I can drink it before bed though, sometimes a cup of “coffee” just sounds good. Real coffee would keep me up for hours.
If you’re curious about Dandy Blend, need to quit drinking coffee but dread the thought of it, or just want to get more dandelion in your diet then I encourage you to try Dandy Blend. Don’t forget that you can visit their website and ask for a sample! I’d love it if you’d let them know I sent you!
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