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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Leaf Chicory

There is a little confusion concerning Chicory; one is the plant with the lavender flowers which I posted about previously and the other one is the leafy kind which is commonly used as a vegetable.

It is the last one I will tell you about this time. This veggie is also know as Belgian or French endive, also as witlof in the Netherlands, Australia and the United States and chicory in the UK. The official Latin name is:

Cichorium endivia

Chicory greens are the leaves of the chicory plant, eaten as a salad green in the US.

The leaves are eye and bone healthy because just 1/2 cup of raw chicory (90g) is an excellent source of vitamin A providing over 100% of the Daily Value.

Chicory greens are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help maintain eye health (9.3mg). Researchers from Brigham Young found that women who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin enjoyed an 18% lower risk of developing cataracts.

Chicory greens also provide folate, over 300% (268mcg) of your Daily Value of vitamin K, an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of manganese and potassium - a combination of nutrients that promote strong and healthy bones.

In addition, chicory is one of the top vegetable sources of vitamins E, a powerful antioxidant, and is also a good source of other essential nutrients like fiber, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and copper.
~Source: Dole Food Facts.

The same health benefits of the root Chicory are also contributed to this leafy variant. The creamy, white color is due to the fact that it is grown either entirely underground or indoors without any exposure to sunlight. The taste is rather bitter and most people like it best as a salad. It can be baked and boiled as well and some people even like to stuff it before doing so.

I used to cut out the hard inner core at the bottom of the stem: this is the most bitter part. Cook the chicory for about 10 minutes, take them out of the pan and role them in slices of ham, place them in an oven dish, cover them with shredded or sliced cheese and spread a few table spoons of butter randomly on top it. Cover and bake for about 40 minutes on 325 degrees and you will have a very tasty dish.

It is very simple to find many more recipes online for this healthy vegetable. Pick crisp, white leaved Chicory and it can be kept fresh refrigirated up to 3 days.

Some people may think they are too old to live according to God's word. They have made it this far without, so why even try; it may already be too late. Wrong! God's word, guidance and leadership are refreshment for soul and spirit and it is never too late to seek it, live accordingly and be a testimony to others.

Psalm 92:14
They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,


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