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Friday, July 5, 2013

"I Can't Believe It's Not Coffee!" ~ My New (Almost) Coffee Discovery

Photo: Looks like coffee, smells like coffee, Tastes like coffee... But no caffeine and it's good for you??? What!? Yum!!
Thanks for the picture, Christi!
It looks like coffee. It even smells like coffee. It definitely tastes like coffee (well...it tastes pretty darn close!). I seriously can't believe it's not coffee! I've had it iced, blended as a frappe, and cappuccino style--I love them all. Friends have tried it and raved. My mom liked it so much she bought half of my bag. It's gluten-free*, caffeine-free and dissolves in water. What is this magic "almost coffee"? I'm glad you asked!

This delicious beverage powder is called "Dandy Blend".  It is made from roasted dandelion root, chicory root, barley & rye. It contains over 50 trace minerals and costs as little as $.07 a cup. You should read the Amazon reviews on this stuff--it has 5 out of 5 stars! Our local bulk food store, Country Bulk Barn, is where I bought mine but it is slightly less expensive on Amazon. (*Note to GF friends--The company explains on their website how they make this product GF. I do not have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. If you do, you may want to investigate the GF claim on this product for yourself before drinking it.)

A friend tipped me off to Dandy Blend and to say I was skeptical is a massive understatement. I love coffee!! A month or so ago, I was drinking at least 6 cups of coffee a day. I would say my average daily coffee/tea consumption was around 36 oz. It never seemed like that much, because first of all I have really big coffee mugs. Secondly, I was drinking it all day long. I rarely left the house without my stainless steel cup filled with warm, delicious Colombian goodness. Oh--let's not forget the massive amounts of whole milk and sugar (I justified it by using unrefined sugar cane) I put in there. But three weeks ago, I gave up my love affair with coffee to regain my health. I had been without my beloved drink for quite some time when I got my hands on this "new guy".  Dandy Blend was going to have some HUGE Starbucks-sized shoes to fill.

I put my finger in the powder to taste it before making a whole cup of iced coffee. Oh. my. word! "This tastes JUST LIKE COFFEE!" I shrieked in disbelief. I poured the powder into a bit of water, stirred it up, added my vanilla extract, my milk and a bit of liquid stevia. Then I nervously took a sip. Ahhhh....heaven in a cup! So what would make delicious into spectacular? A teaspoon of cocoa or carob powder (caffeine free), some ice and a blender of course. After two long weeks without coffee, Dandy Blend became my new favorite friend.

I have shared this secret (almost) coffee with my mom and several friends. I am not the only one who thinks this stuff is beyond awesome. The fact that I can make it various strengths without having to brew it hot--makes it the perfect choice for iced and blended coffee drinks. Because it is not caffeinated, it doesn't put stress on my already stressed adrenal glands. It doesn't make me jittery, or irritable, or moody. It doesn't interfere with my sleep and cause daytime fatigue. It isn't addictive. It doesn't make me crave carbohydrates an hour after I drink it. Best of all, if I sweeten it with a low-glycemic sweetener like NuNaturals Liquid Stevia, it doesn't cause my blood sugar to crash after drinking it. And that makes Dandy Blend the perfect coffee alternative for my new caffeine-free lifestyle.

Here are some tips on using and storing Dandy Blend from a reviewer on Amazon:
"There are smaller packages of Dandy blend available even here on Amazon, however economically this size makes best practical sense, as it's the least expensive (price per oz) option, provided you will store it right.
The instruction on the label say that Dandelion is sensitive to moisture and the bag needs to be resealed completely after each use. However I found out that itself is not enough (I live in area with high humidity).

From my experience, the best thing to do if you buy this size is to either share it with a friend and/or do the following: I put mine in a small size glass mason jar with a lid and store it in the fridge (or even freezer, either way). What is left, stays in the original bag,  gets sealed, put in additional Ziploc bag and stored in the freezer. There it will last quite a long time.
What happens if you leave it at room temperature is, it absorbs moisture and hardens into a block pretty quickly, and you have to literally chisel it to break a piece off, plus it dissolves lot harder and loses some original flavor, so it pretty much gets ruined. I found out the hard way and had to throw away quite a sizable amount the first time I bought it. Cold temperature will keep it nice, powdery and fresh for a long time. 
You can play with the concentration (some people like less, I prefer mine stronger), drink it 'just like that' or put all kinds of enhancements in:
sweeteners (I don't use white sugar, prefer stevia, xylitol or coconut sugar),
"whiteners" (half and half, rice milk, almond milk etc.),
cacao powder,
natural flavoring like almond or vanilla (whatever your imagination comes up with), just as you would with coffee."

What are you waiting for? Go order some of this better-for-you (almost) coffee, then come back and tell me how much you love it!

The links to Dandy Blend and NuNaturals Liquid Stevia in this post are affiliate links. You are not obligated to purchase this product through these links, but doing so gives me a small commission for the work I do as a blogger. Thank you! Amazon has not asked me to review this product nor have the product manufacturers. All statements and opinions are completely my own.

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