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Video: Chicory Root: Unsuspected Uses And Properties
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
It's unthinkable to wake up without a hot, steaming cup of coffee, right? And chicory root arguably represents the best substitute for the aromatic drink, making it perfect for people looking for a way to cut, if not exclude, caffeine from their daily lives. However, this is not its only virtue! Chicory roots and leaves contain several medicinal and nutritional benefits that are essential for our good health. This is why the plant of Egyptian origin is the subject of numerous studies by European scientists. In fact, at the time, it was used a lot to relieve gastric acidity. Our love for good food has turned chicory into a reliable grandma's remedy for gut health. So,what are the other poorly understood benefits of the exotic plant?
Chicory root - the uses and virtues it has to offer us
Called wild chicory, peasant hair, capuchin beard, coffee grass, ugly, cat's eyes, chicory root is a perennial plant cultivated in temperate climates around the world. And long before it was known as an alternative to coffee, it was used for its medical benefits. Indeed, wild chicory was born in Egypt, about 5,000 years ago, where it was used for its prebiotic effects in the intestine. And in this context, we remind you that prebiotics are the “food” of probiotics, these beneficial bacteria that colonize our intestines and support our immune system during periods of flu.
Characteristic and effects
Used for centuries for its health benefits, the root has anti-parasitic properties. As for the prebiotic soluble carbohydrate it contains, it not only promotes gut health, but also weight loss. It is also high in insulin and helps control cholesterol levels. Much of the insulin content is converted into sugar during the roasting process, reducing the flavor of the food roots. Likewise, the root can help lower blood sugar and thus stabilize diabetes.
Finally, the sugars and tannins present promote the secretion of bile and gastric juices, which boosts the appetite. As already mentioned, the plant also has diuretic and mild laxative effects. Thus, it is strongly recommended against liver disorders and against inflammation of the urinary tract.
The chicory plant - how to choose it and how to prepare it?
To fully enjoy the benefits that chicory root has to offer you in all its strengths, prefer it roasted and ready to infuse. Because soluble chicory has undergone a very thorough transformation process, which has no effect on the body. Where to find it? Well, in pharmacies or organic stores.
How to prepare chicory root tea?
Roasted chicory is usually prepared as a decoction. So, we count 1-2 tsp. of chopped leaves and roots in 250 ml of water, brought to a boil for 5 minutes and left to infuse for 10. According to specialists, it is drunk hot 15 minutes before each meal for 3 weeks. To reduce bitterness, adding a pinch of chamomile chamomile or the juice of 1/2 lemon when brewing will do the trick. Coffee grass is drunk instead of coffee, but at any time of the day because it contains no trace of caffeine. In fact, some chefs use it for the taste and color it gives to sauces and certain desserts, such as rice pudding. Both aperitif and digestive, chicory, in all its forms, should be included in our daily diet.
Homemade chicory coffee
There are a number of ways to prepare chicory coffee. One of them is to create your own homemade herbal tea. To do this, wash the chicory roots until they are completely clean. Then place them in the sun to dry them naturally. Once dried, chop them with a knife and place them on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 175 0 and put them in the oven for a few minutes or until the chicory turns golden brown. Finally, take out the baking sheet and let it cool completely. When it is well cooled, put it in your coffee grinder and reduce it to powder.
Be aware that chicory is generally more acidic than coffee, although it does not contain caffeine. So if you want to cut down on caffeine, cook up a drink that's richer in chicory than in coffee. By the way, many people have already started to like the taste of chicory coffee so much that they skip the coffee, making themselves a drink without any caffeine. So feel free to experiment with small amounts of different blends until you find the perfect taste!
Quick and easy chai latte with chicory
Ingredients for 2 cups:
- 250-300 ml soy / almond / rice milk
- 200 ml of water
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 slices of fresh ginger
- 3 cardamom berries, crushed
- 1/4 tsp. powdered cloves
- 1 C. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. chicory
- 1 C. honey (optional)
Put the vegetable milk, water and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking gently and regularly. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Then turn off the heat and add the homemade chicory. Mix and let steep for another 5 minutes. Filter the mixture through a fine strainer and finally add the honey, if desired. Serve hot, sprinkled with a little cinnamon. And there you have it, a soft, comforting drink that's just perfect to warm you up on winter weekends. The combination of vegetable milk, chicory and spices makes this chai latte a light tasty blend that rhymes with well-being.
Chicory, for whom: risks and precautions for use
If taken in too large doses, chicory becomes harmful to the liver. At the time, some used it to mimic jaundice! Moreover, if you are among people allergic to plants of the compound family, it is very likely that you have a certain intolerance towards the components of chicory.
As we already told you at the beginning of our article, one of the components of the root, inulin (commonly used as a texturizing agent or sugar substitute), is of most interest to scientists. And if the dose of it exceeds the recommended 20 g per day, it can cause bloating, cramps, diarrhea and gas. As for the chicory leaves, they do not carry any adverse effects.