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Chicory is considered a perennial plant with a thick and fleshy root. This type of plant has a long and even stem, which is covered with fine hairs, and leaves grow on it. During flowering, it is covered with pink or bluish flowers, which gather in a kind of small boxes. Regardless of what kind of chicory the variety has, only seeds and roots are used from it.
Description of the plant
The plant is often found in abandoned areas, near roads, in overgrown wastelands. It also grows in many countries.
From one plant, you can get from 2 to 20 thousand seeds. This herb blooms throughout the summer, but the ripening of the seeds lasts until mid-September. Roots and seeds are used for consumption. After harvesting, the crop is ground and used as an additive in coffee, for brewing a drink. This appointment is justified by the wonderful smell and bitter taste. They are made from roots and decoctions that have healing properties.
What are the varieties of chicory?
As for the varieties of chicory, there are more than 10 varieties, but only 2 of them are popular.
- Endive variety. This type is often used to prepare a variety of salads, side dishes for meat dishes.
- Ordinary. It is used to brew drinks that are good for health.
For salads, take only fresh and not old leaves. It is important to add it to food. It is especially common in the countries of the Mediterranean Sea, because it is in them that the main accumulation of this plant is observed.
The common variety is mainly used in powder consistency. From this type, a drink is obtained, the taste of which resembles coffee.
Important! The root of the common variety has beneficial substances, due to which this herb is often used to prepare medicinal broths.
Red chicory has reddish leaves with distinct white veins. The taste of such a representative of the variety is bitter and pungent, but softens after heat treatment. It is believed that this type is salad, and is suitable for preparing light meals. It goes well with olive oil, beans and similar vegetables.
This plant normalizes the metabolic process in the body, and also removes all toxic substances. It also cleanses the kidneys, improves health in diabetic patients, normalizes blood composition, awakens appetite, has a positive effect on bowel function and is used as a remedy for heartburn.
With regular use, it restores the tone of the body, relieves fatigue and fatigue.
Whitloof is a salad variety, often referred to as Belgian chicory. It is grown in greenhouses in winter or autumn. It was at this time, with the help of distillation from the roots, that juicy heads of cabbage and crispy leaves are obtained. In the summer, the plant is also grown. To do this, he is planted in the beds.
Before using Vitluf for salad, it is soaked in brackish water, thus removing the bitter taste. The main feature of such a leafy variety is its yield throughout the winter period, at a time when there are few fresh vegetables. The herb has many beneficial substances that have medicinal properties.
The Endive variety belongs to the daisy family and is considered a close relative of dandelions. Among the people, it is called salad chicory. Such a plant is represented by a head of cabbage of light green color with the presence of green leaves. The leaves have a peculiar curliness, due to this criterion, it visually resembles a salad.
The palatability is the same as that of other species, but not as popular as compared to them. It is sold in dense greenish heads of cabbage, which have smooth and solid leaves, and reach 13 centimeters in length.
Chicory grows all year round, it can be consumed both raw and brewed drinks, made fresh salads. The plant has beneficial qualities and healing abilities. Those who have not tried it at least once have lost a lot. After all, it is easy to grow it even on a windowsill. By planting seeds, you will receive a real treasure with a large supply of vitamins.