CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…#Edible Roots…Part 3…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews, where I will cover a different food or product each week and look at… what they are.  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, and are they safe to eat, store, use, cook, or anything connected to that food? or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three… today I am looking at…Edible Roots…Part 3.

Like I did with the aromatic leaves I will not be featuring common ones but maybe ones we throw away without realising that they are a source of flavour for our food, to eat and cook with or to make tea…my aim is to feature three roots per post one of which may be new to you…as the video last week on Water Lily Roots The guy made an interesting observation that when foraging it may be edible but is it palatable...I think that is a good point and in these days of food, uncertainty I think it is important that we should properly try foraged foods and foods that are not at risk of shortages and see if they are palatable to us and be honest not fussy as we may have to change our eating habits to survive OR IN TRUTH FOOD THAT WE CAN AFFORD…Best be prepared…

Today I am featuring …

Chicory Root…is a rather woody root, the plant itself is part of the Dandelion family and can be recognised by its bright blue flowers…used for centuries in cooking and traditional medicine, it’s commonly used to make a coffee alternative, as it has a similar taste and colour…Native to the Old World(Africa, Asia and Europe), it has since been introduced to North America and Australia. Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or roots, which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive.

What immediately springs to my mind is Camp Coffee which is a concentrated syrup which is flavoured with coffee and chicory, first produced in 1876 by Paterson & Sons Ltd, in Glasgow…although not as popular as a coffee drink now it is still used as a flavouring in the culinary world.

Although chicory has numerous health benefits it can be used in home cooking as well. Some speciality shops and grocery stores carry the whole root, which is often boiled and eaten as a vegetable.

If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake, you can use roasted and ground chicory root as a coffee replacement. To make this rich beverage, add 2 tablespoons (11 grams) of ground chicory root for every 1 cup (240 ml) of water in your coffeemaker…not something I have tried as I don’t drink coffee often…

Dandelion Root…A plant related to the daisy family, its roots, leaves, and flowers are consumed in foods and beverages, like teas…One of the downsides of dandelion is it also absorbs other harmful substances from the environment. It is usually not a good idea to eat wild dandelion if the purity of the soil, water, and air are unknown.

After you have washed the roots thoroughly the tough outer layer needs to be removed it can be done with a knife but if the roots are smaller then steam/boil for two minutes which then makes the tough outer layer easier to remove…after you’ve peeled the dandelion roots, steam them or boil them for a further 5 minutes (or 8 to 10 if you have large roots). Serve dandelion roots like you would carrots or parsnips. with a little salt and butter, the root is tasty, and a splash of apple cider vinegar will help you enjoy the slight bitterness of the dandelion root.

Ginseng Root…Asian countries such as South Korea and China have a long history of ginseng consumption that goes back as far as 1,000 years…due to its growing popularity, it is now available in at least 35 countries around the various forms such as fresh ginseng, dried ginseng, boiled and dried ginseng (Taekuksam) which means it is likely available wherever you live…it uses are many …Ginseng slices or fresh ginseng roots are often added to stir fry dishes. Ginseng powder can also be added to baked items or simmered in the hot water when making rice…Korean red ginseng is very popular not only in Korean cuisine but around the world…

Citrus and ginger are two flavours that complement and balance the flavour of Korean red ginseng. The sweetness of citrus or ginger balances the bitterness of ginseng. The tartness of citrus and the bite of ginger adds complexity to the delicate earthy taste of ginseng and provides a lively burst of energizing flavour….if you ever made or sampled the Korean version of Ginseng soup you will know what I mean…Ginseng has long been used medicinally but here I am just looking at edibility in cooking…

Thank you for joining me today I’m sure many of you are familiar with chicory and camp coffee but how many of you are familiar with ginseng and have cooked with it or the dandelion of which the leaves are often used in salads but have you used the roots?…that pretty looking plant with the bright yellow flowers is often thought of just a weed but it isn’t…as always I look forward to your comments and hope you all have a fabulous weekend x

18 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…#Edible Roots…Part 3…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…23rd- 29th October 2022-Monday Musings, #Ricotta, Walnut and Blackberry Toast , Health, Morbid Obesity, #Edible Roots…and Saturday Snippets where “Lost” is my one word prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I agree, Sally and mostly it is down to a lack of knowledge…I am guilty of that myself and have learnt much of what I know from living here or having more time to research …plus knowing people who forage Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. petespringerauthor

    Thanks for the information, Carol. I always wonder who decides to be a guinea pig and try a root to see if it’s edible or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. beetleypete

    Camp Coffee was the only coffee I knew when I was young. My mum would make it, then add some evaporated milk to colour it. I was drinking that until I was about 11, then she started to buy powdered Nescafe. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      My grandparent and parents were the same Dolly myself I don’t drink coffee anyway or very rarely and camp wouldn’t be my coffee of choice although I have used it in baking. 🙂 x

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      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        The rationing wasn’t due to the lack of coffee it was readily available from South America but due to the lack of means to ship large quantities of what was considered an unnecessary luxury in wartime, as well as the ever-present danger to US merchant ships from German U-boats…so camp coffee it was …

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  4. marianbeaman

    When I was growing up, my mother would get out on a fresh spring morning and dig out dandelion by the roots. Then she would boil the green leaves with roots, save the water, and then add hard-boiled egg to the mixture. “It has a lot of iron,” she would say as she placed the dish on the table, probably after a splash of vinegar was added.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Vinegar was used a lot back then my nan always added vinegar to the water greens were cooked in and it was a great treat we thought… we loved to drink it or I did my sisters not so much it seems our mums and grandmothers knew far more than many of us as to what was beneficial for our health 🙂 x

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  5. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…#Edible Roots…Part 3… – MobsterTiger

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