Many may not realize it, but there are a lot of edible plants in the world. While we wouldn’t recommend walking outside and eating anything you find growing out there, you might still be surprised by just how much of it is edible.
One example is the chicory plant. Related to the common dandelion, chicory grows in Europe, North America, China, and Australia.
But how does it taste? In this post, we’ll describe the taste of chicory, as well as its health benefits and risks.
What Does Chicory Taste Like?
Chicory has been popularly used as an alternative to coffee. For that reason, if you do any searching online for information on the plant, you’ll probably see tons of posts describing what chicory coffee tastes like.
Assuming you’re not brewing a cup of chicory coffee, the taste will vary depending on what part of the plant you eat. Chicory leaves, for instance, are incredibly bitter and earthy. They work well as a substitute for spinach.
Chicory root, on the other hand, is the part that’s ground up for use in coffees. You can also cook it like you would other root veggies, though, for a taste that’s even more intensely earthy. You may also detect some traces of woodiness and light, perfume-like floral notes.
Is Chicory Bad for Health?
There are two sides to every story, especially when it comes to health food trends. This is certainly the case with chicory, which has its good and bad sides.
Some of the bad aspects of chicory include possible allergic reactions and increased possibility of miscarriage. If you’re allergic to ragweed, avoid chicory. Similarly, pregnant women should reconsider eating the plant or drinking chicory coffee.
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What are the Benefits of Chicory?
With the bad news out of the way, let’s take a look at the bright side of chicory. Assuming you’re not allergic to it, there are plenty of reasons to give this plant a try.
First, chicory is full of nutrients. Your average serving of chicory root has fiber, protein, carbs, and vitamins B6 and C in it.
Second, it has anti-inflammatory properties. For that reason, it could help with conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Additionally, the fiber in the plant is great for your digestive system. It has a type of fiber in it called inulin, which promotes the growth of good gut bacteria.
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More likely than not, chicory grows on the continent you live on. Should you come across some, you can rest assured that it’s safe to eat and healthy for you. You can even grind up the root to make an alternative to coffee!