By Ania Robertson
Belgian endive is a member of the Compositae family, along with artichokes, dandelions and lettuce.
Ayurveda teaches that all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) should be eaten at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented.
Our diet tends to have too much of sweet, sour and salty tastes. Belgian endive has a bitter taste due to intybin, a substance that is helpful to the digestion and the liver.
I know quite a few folks who are turned off by its bitterness. However, I love Belgian endive for its crunch, delicacy and because it is very low in sodium. It is a natural diuretic, and an excellent source for getting dietary fiber, which is essential to keep a healthy digestive system and protect against constipation. Also, it is a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E and K, as well as potassium, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and calcium.
Toss Belgium endive with your salad or serve as a great hors d’oeuvre. Fill out the petals with “Boursin” cheese or pâté, and… use your imagination.
Belgian Endive Salad
I remove too much bitterness from Belgian endive by removing the core and soaking petals in water or milk for about 30 minutes.
2 medium Belgian endives
1/2 small apple
2 inches of fresh leek (white part)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (use Grapeseed oil Vegenaise)
1/4 teaspoon (or to your taste) fenugreek powder
dash of turmeric powder
salt and black pepper to taste
Cut endive petals into 1/4-inch strips
Cut apple into thin slices, and then into thin strips
Cut leek into 1/16-inch strips
In a small bowl, mix them with mayonnaise, fenugreek, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Ania Robertson is a certified life coach with additional certification in Ayurveda and Feng Shui.