Chicory

This vegetable is also known as Belgian endive because it has been popularized by the Belgians. It’s a very popular winter vegetable in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, preferably cooked in the oven with cheese and ham!

Some interesting facts about chicory:

  • Chicory grows in the dark which is why it is white and not green.
  • The roots of chicory were used to make a drink similar to coffee.
  • Chicory is so popular in France that the French eat nearly all the chicory they produce by themselves.
  • Chicory flowers are a lovely sky blue, the color of beautiful blue eyes, and the flowers close at night. Thus Nicholas Culpeper recommended chicory water for “sore eye that inflamed.”
  • In the United States, chicory is so common on roadsides that it’s hard to realize it’s not native, but all those miles of blue flowers we see today came from chicory imported by colonists.
  • Belgian endives have small amounts of nearly every vitamin, but mostly vitamin K. 
  • If exposed to light, chicory will turn yellow or greenish and become more bitter.

 

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Chicory is said to have a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to ease digestive problems, prevent heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, prevent bacterial infections, boost the immune system, and reduce the chance of heart disease. 

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