Recipe: Chicory and Hypertension

Chicory isn’t just a great coffee substitute, but a natural way to lower blood pressure.

Chicory is not only a great substitute for coffee without the caffeine, but a versatile and nutritious food. Chicory’s high folate content is said to support cardiovascular health or cardiovascular imbalances, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It is recommended to eat something green and leafy every day and chicory contains more vitamin A than any other salad green. Like other vegetables, chicory is a good source of potassium needed for blood pressure control, a healthy nervous system, normal heart rate and fluid balance in the body. They are also a rich source of calcium and vitamin K.

Chicory root has also been found to possess a lot of inulin. One fresh chicory root contains 30 percent of insulin, while the root extract contains 98 percent. For this reason, the extract is included in almost every high fiber diet. The inulin itself can be used both as a sweetener and as a probiotic since it is a polysaccharide.

Chicory’s leafy greens can be eaten in salads to add flavor and crunch and roasted chicory root can be eaten as a vegetable. It is also works well braised and eaten with fish dishes or roasted in olive oil. Chicory can cause drug interactions with antihypertensive beta blockers, so a word with a doctor is advised.

Honeyed Chicken & Braised Chicory
Try serving this delicious chicory recipe with mashed potatoes and crème fraîche, chopped chives and lots of black pepper as a side.

Ingredients
• 4 chicken supremes (boned breast with wing tip on), skin on
• 2 tbsps. wholegrain mustard
• 4 tbsps. olive oil
• 4 tbsps. clear honey
• flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
For the chicory:
• 4 heads chicory
• 100g (4oz) butter
• juice of 1 lemon
• 2 tbsps. sugar
For the garlic crumbs:
• 50g (2oz) coarse breadcrumbs
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• olive oil, to drizzle

Method
1. Slash the supremes at intervals, 3 to 4 times without cutting through the chicken completely. Mix together the mustard, oil and honey. Season well. Coat the chicken in the marinade and leave for 30 minutes – or covered in the fridge overnight.
2. Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6. Put chicken skin side up on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for around 20 to 30 minutes until cooked and browned.
3. Meanwhile, cut chicory in half lengthways. Melt butter in a pan and add the chicory. Squeeze the lemon juice over and sprinkle on the sugar. Bring to the boil, then cover and leave on a low simmer for 20 minutes or until softened.
4. Toss the breadcrumbs and garlic in olive oil and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.

To serve: Slice the chicken on the diagonal into 3. Place a piece of chicory between the slices. Ladle any cooking juices over and scatter with the crumbs and parsley.

Enjoy!

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