Chicory Greens: A Delicious and Nutritious Addition to Your Diet
If you’re looking for a new way to add a boost of nutrients, color, and flavor to your meals, chicory greens may be just the ticket. This leafy green plant is a common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, but it can also be enjoyed as a side dish or a salad by itself.
So, what exactly is chicory? It’s a bushy, leafy green that grows up to three feet tall, and its broad, slightly serrated leaves are a deep green color. Most varieties of chicory are perennial plants, meaning they come back year after year. Another fun fact: chicory was first cultivated as a medicinal herb. Its roots have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including jaundice and digestive issues.
When it comes to nutrition, chicory greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including:
• Vitamin C: Chicory greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing about 20% of your daily value in a single serving. This vitamin helps keep your immune system strong and combats free radicals, making it an important antioxidant to include in your diet.
• Vitamin K: This vitamin helps your body form healthy blood clots, which are vital for your overall health and wellbeing. Just one cup of chicory greens contains over 80% of your daily value of vitamin K.
• Iron: Chicory greens are also a great source of iron, with one cup giving you 8% of your daily needs. Iron plays an important role in energy production and is also essential for carrying oxygen throughout your body.
• Calcium: Lastly, chicory provides a good amount of calcium. This mineral is essential for healthy bones and teeth, and one cup of chicory greens contains 10% of your daily needs.
As you can see, there’s plenty of awesome stuff in these delicious greens. But how do you eat them? One of the simplest ways is to use chicory greens as a salad base. For example, you could make a quick and tasty dish by combining some cooked meats or seafood, some tomatoes, and some cucumbers. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette, and voila! The crunch of the chicory and the freshness of all the ingredients will be sure to tantalize your taste buds. If you’re up for something a bit bolder, why not try pairing chicory greens with a rich, garlicky sauce? Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try sautéing the greens with olive oil and adding some chili flakes or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
As much as these delicious greens help you get the nutrition you need, they’re also great for the environment. Chicory is an easy-to-grow plant that’s naturally resistant to pests and disease, and since it doesn’t require any special treatment, it’s a wonderful way to minimize your carbon footprint and help the planet. What’s more, it doesn’t require a lot of water to grow and can be cultivated without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.
So if you’ve been looking for a way to add some nutrition-rich greens and delicious flavors to your meals, look no further than chicory greens. Whether you’re using them in salads, as a side dish, or as an ingredient in a flavorful dish, these scrumptious greens will be sure to give you plenty of nutrients and satisfaction. Try them today and enjoy the flavor and benefits of these delightful greens!