While driving this week I found a large patch of dock in seed not far from the road (that’s how I found it). I quickly pulled over and got out the bag I now keep in the car for foraging purposes. It was on a little used back road and in someone’s driveway. As it was a property driveway, the house was not visible at all, in fact I had the whole road to myself for the 20 minutes it took me to gather all the seed I needed. I stripped the seed from the heads this time rather than cut the stalks, this resulted in less dead leaves and stalks, less time processing and, most importantly, almost no beetles.
At home, I processed the seeds by laying them on baking trays, removing all the detritus and a few beetles, then baked the seed for 5 minutes. Then I ground the seeds to make a second, larger, batch of flour. While I was baking the seed for flour, I found a YouTube clip that described making dock seed coffee. I thought I would give it a go.
It seems that the seed can be baked for a longer time to release the coffee like flavouring, so I just left the last tray in the oven for another 10 minutes. Instead of grinding the seeds in the flour mill, I used the coffee grinder to make a courser material.
I began my experiment by using half real coffee and half dock seed coffee in a plunger.
The result looks like coffee, smells like coffee (of course) and tastes like coffee. It is a little weaker than I like as far as strength of flavour goes, but I could get used to it. I think I will use this to extend my coffee in future.
Incidently, I have added dockseed flour to my bread, a not-meatloaf and to my chocolate, chocolate chip pikelets so far. The flour is very dark and lends a unique colour to everything. The flavour is subtle, but detectable, I enjoy it.
Dock is a nutrient rich plant, so I am going to keep collecting the seed for flour and the leaves for greens as the opportunity presents. I wish my possum population hadn’t realised that dock is edible, so I could grow more of my own. I am hoping that I will get a good amount of volunteers from my processing area; I think dock will be useful as a stock food too (leaves to the sheep and goats and seed to the chooks).