Chicory coffee benefits are more profound than most people might think! And if you are looking for a great alternative to coffee, then chicory coffee is worth a try! While the taste differs from standard coffee, chicory coffee has an appealing aroma, and the list of health benefits is impressive!
While caffeine can be hard on the digestive tract and other organs, chicory coffee is much more gut-friendly. Read on to learn why.
Chicory coffee benefits
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is also called succory, cornflower, endive, radicchio, or sugarloaf. Chicory belongs to the Asteraceae, sunflower and daisy family and is related to lettuce and dandelions. Chicory root is naturally caffeine free so it’s safe to drink in the evening. In fact, chicory coffee is slightly calming and sedative because of the presence of lactucin and related compounds.
Chicory root contains several potent, aromatic, active substances—the five mentioned below are responsible for most chicory coffee benefits.
- Inulin is an excellent prebiotic that feeds and strengthens the gut colony of healthy bacteria. Chicory root contains as much as 8% inulin, which is converted in the gut, fist into short-chain fatty acids, then into ketones that nourish colon cells and produce hormones that control appetite.
- Lactones are digestive bitters, potent volatile oils; they are strong anti-parasite, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- Mannitol is a sugar that paradoxically supports oral health, prevents dental caries, tooth decay and cavities. But mannitol also helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
- Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants; support gut health, help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis and many other.
- Lactucin is a bitter substance with a mild sedative, calming effect; it also slightly reduces pain, lowers cholesterol, and is antibacterial.
Potential Chicory coffee benefits
- Effective at eliminating intestinal worms, parasites
- Beneficial for constipation, diarrhea
- Preventing certain forms of cancer
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Protective effect in gut, colon
- Sedative, calming effect
- Cardiovascular health
- Improves metabolism
- Lower triglycerides
- High in antioxidants
- Regulate heartbeat
- Detoxifying agent
- Liver support
Chicory coffee recipes
The chicory root is dried, roasted and brewed into a coffee-like drink. However, coffee lovers say chicory coffee does not taste like real coffee. True, but chicory coffee is still an excellent, caffeine-free and great substitute.
Try mixing chicory root with other ingredients to create a more complex taste and with added benefits. Use the recipes below as a basis for make your own brews.
Roasted chicory root granules produce a smooth, slightly bitter and slightly sweet taste; it’s lovely!
Add any sweetener of your choice (stevia, honey, agave, raw sugar). Milk, cream, or coconut milk can also enhance the taste. Chicory coffee can be stored in the fridge and be reheated.
1. Chicory Coffee with Cardamom
- One quart water (1 liter)
- 3 tablespoons roasted chicory root granules (organic best)
- Let it simmer for about 3 minutes
- Optional: add cardamom powder just before serving
You can strain the solid parts right away, or leave the granules to soak longer for a fuller taste.
Another way is to grind the chicory to a finer powder. Use 2 teaspoons or so in a cup, pour hot water, add milk or cream and enjoy!
2. Chicory & Dandelion Coffee
- 1 quart water (1 litre)
- 2 tablespoons roasted chicory root granules
- 2 tablespoons roasted dandelion root
- Optional: 1/2 tablespoon cacao powder and/or carob powder
- Optional: 1 teaspoon molasses
Simmer all ingredients in water for 3-5 minutes. Pour the coffee into a cup through a fine mesh. Dandelion adds bitterness to the coffee and has additional health benefits for the liver and gut. Some people add one tablespoon ground coffee to the brew to raise the taste a few notches.
3. Chicory & Cocoa Coffee
- One quart water (1 liter)
- 3 tablespoons roasted chicory root granules
- 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- Raw sugar & cream (optional, but irresistible!)
Let chicory and cocoa powder simmer in a pan for 3 minutes. While simmering, whisk to mix the cocoa powder. Strain and serve. This coffee feels thicker and has a fuller, more complex taste.
4. Ken’s Chicory Brew
This recipe was developed and refined through many failures and tastings. The purpose was to create a more bitter, complex and supercharged brew. This has become my favorite recipe. Amounts are only approximate as it’s a matter of taste. It’s best to prepare a bigger batch of dry ingredients that can be used for some weeks.
- 1 cup (3 dl) roasted chicory root powder
- 3 tablespoons dried dandelion root (roasted if desired)
- 2 tablespoons ground fennel seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons ground dandelion leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons wormwood (very bitter so be careful)
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 1-2 teaspoons cardamom powder
Mix all ingredients in a large glass jar and store like standard coffee.
How to brew: Use some 3 tablespoons of the mix to about a quart water (1 liter). Simmer for at least 5 minutes. Let it sit for another 10 minutes or more. Strain and refrigerate. Can be stored in fridge for 3 days.
How to serve: Reheat some of the brew in a pan. Pour cream in a cup first, then the reheated coffee brew.
5. Iced Chicory Coffee
This is a great recipe in the summer. There are several ways to prepare iced chicory coffee. Some recipes call for a “cold brew” achieved by steeping grounded chicory and coffee in water in room temperature for 12 hours. However, you can also boil the chicory.
- Boil chicory granules for 3 minutes.
- Strain and cool the brew.
- Add ice cubes to a large glass.
- Pour the cool chicory coffee.
- Add milk, cream or coconut milk
- Add a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, stevia, raw sugar.
- Stir and enjoy!
- A few drops of peppermint extract (optional)
Chicory coffee dosage
There are no official recommendations as to how much chicory coffee a person can drink per day. Some consider a normal “dose” to be one or two cups per day, (if using 100% chicory root). However, even though a moderate amount of chicory coffee has some health benefits, more is not always better. And you might want to completely avoid chicory coffee if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or sensitive to the Asteraceae plant family.
In any case, I hope you can enjoy the brew and all chicory coffee benefits!