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Health Benefits of Chicory – What the HECK is Chicory Coffee?

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What’s better than the aromas, flavor & ritual of morning coffee? I’ve got all the right tools to make great coffee at home. I can go toe to toe with my local Barista!  Unfortunately, my morning routine is becoming… too routine. I blame Covid for this. Covid takes the blame for a long list of things, lately. I needed something new. As a result, I started scouring the internet for morning brew inspiration. I wanted to spice things up. Chicory coffee? Health benefits of chicory? OK, why not….

 

 

“I’ve had so much coffee today, I can see noises!” 

 

 

First, if you frequent New Orleans, you know all about Cafe Du Monde. The Chicory coffee & delicious beignets are world famous. I do recall enjoying the beignets in New Orleans. I’m assuming they were complimented with famous Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee.  To be honest, I was mildly impaired much of the time in the “Big Easy”.  Consequently, I’m not certain. I was probably more focused on inhaling the beignets.

So, I went out (went to the internet) & bought some French Roasted Chicory. I was pleasantly surprised! Stand alone Chicory coffee, chicory mixed with regular coffee & chicory added to smoothies are all really tasty! Throw in some of the health benefits of chicory & it’s certainly worth giving it a try.

 

Cafe Du Monde - Health benefits of chicory

What’s Chicory’s Backstory?

Chicory gained popularity in the early 1800’s. While it’s believed to have originated in Holland, it’s leap to the mainstream occurred in France. Coffee in the 1800’s was pricey (not unlike today). Roasted chicory was an economical alternative. Chicory was used as a coffee additive as well as a coffee replacement. Today, Chicory coffee maintains a loyal worldwide audience. Many coffee brands use chicory to add flavor & reduce bitterness to their blends.  With its roots in France, It’s no wonder Chicory coffee is a mainstay in New Orleans.

 

chicory flower - health benefits of chicory

What Does Chicory Coffee Taste like?

Chicory coffee is very similar to  regular coffee. Chicory has a wonderful roasted, smoky aroma that fills the air. On the tongue it’s a little sweeter, with woody, nutty notes that make it a drink worth lingering over. Chicory coffee works in perfect harmony with your milk of choice; be it cream, milk, almond, oat etc. While adding creamers to coffee sometimes dulls the flavor, it really enhances chicory coffee.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed French roasted chicory with almond milk & French roasted chicory with espresso & milk. Chicory coffee over ice, with a splash almond milk is also perfect for the dog days of summer.

I also use a tablespoon of roasted chicory in my smoothies, for a subtle coffee flavor. It really gives my protein powder a lift from it’s somewhat chalky flavor.

 

Making chicory with cream

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Health Benefits of Chicory

Chicory has several health benefits that add to the allure of this sublime coffee alternative.  Some have been well researched, while others are supported with anecdotal evidence.

Chicory is made up of about 70%  Prebiotic Inulin –  Prebiotic inulin is a fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. It helps it grow & flourish. Healthy gut, healthy body! Inulin also aids in mineral absorption.

Chicory helps reduce inflammation in the body – Inflammation leads to heart disease, diabetes & cancers.

Caffeine free – That’s another subtle health benefit of chicory root. Chicory provides the ritual coffee experience while limiting your caffeine intake.

Improved bowel movements & relieves constipation  – Yeah poop!

Studies suggest Chicory decreases your blood sugar levels.

Chicory may help promote weight loss by regulating appetite.

Possible Side Effects?

In rare cases, Chicory may trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms include pain, swelling and tingling of the mouth.

Also, you should try Chicory if your allergic to ragweed or birch pollen.

Start slowly at first. If you experience any negative symptoms discontinue use immediately and check with your doctor.

 

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In a Nutshell…

It’s true that the health benefits of chicory sound promising. It’s always reassuring to hear positive news about a beverage.

But, sipping chicory coffee is simply an enjoyable experience. As we patiently (or painfully) ride this annoying virus out, I find myself in search of  new found joy, in the little things.  I will use this forced downtime to actively seek out new experiences & enhance old rituals.

Savoring my new found chicory creation, I’ll pat myself on the back for ever broadening my experiences, in less than ideal circumstances.

&  send a heart warming “Fuck You” to covid…

 

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