Would you like an alternative to Coffee?

Updated: May 26, 2020

Who doesn't like a nice cup of coffee?

I personally have always been more of a tea drinker but at least once a day I feel the urge for coffee. It is not the caffeine buzz that I crave, I just like a cup of coffee every so often.

However, as you will be aware, as I keep banging on about it, I am still on the Elimination Diet and coffee is one of the last things to be reintroduced so what to substitute for the java lava? I have tried almost every combination in herbal teas....they have their place but I never really think "oh, a nice cup of dandelion and nettle is what I want" - a nice glass of G&T perhaps, but that is another story.

Naturally, I consulted Dr Google as to whether there was a coffee substitute. I remember as a kid having a cup of Camp coffee over my gran's but looking at the ingredients; water and sugar being the first ingredients, it is more of a coffee cake flavouring than what I was looking for.

Also, what's the crack with the changing of the labels, the poor guy of the left originally had a tray to serve the coffee, then they took the tray away from him, these days he is sitting down having to drink the stuff???

Chicory was flagged up on a few health foodie sites as being a winner.

What the hell is chicory and why would you make it into coffee?

Searching through the memory banks I remember that I don't like chicory, it's that white bitter lettucy thing which I would rather avoid. But apparently there are some acceptable ways to eat it - I include one here from Olive Magazine:

chicory with grains and lentils
Now that actually looks nice!

Chicory has a very pretty blue flower not dissimilar to a cornflower but it is the root that the 'coffee' is made from.

They dry, shred, ground and roast the root - who knew?

Our local health shop, well I say local, it is in Devizes which is 13 odd miles away, but in the country that is local, had a few varieties of chicory-based 'coffee' in stock - BEWARE - read the label, some have wheat in them so if you are gluten-free that will not be very useful!

I opted for an organic one which was pure chicory.

coffee cup and chicory jar
Chicorlicious......yes, there is such a word (in my world)

I must say, mixed half and half with oat milk and water it was jolly good. So good in fact that I see no real need to return to real coffee!!

Now, enthusiasm aside - what are the benefits of switching to chicory from coffee - if any?

  • It is caffeine-free so you won't be jumping off the walls if you decide to have more than one cup.

  • Being caffeine-free it can be included on the Elimination Diet (remember that, I know I haven't mentioned it for a while?)

  • This one is organic so no nasties.

  • Chicory root is a good source of inulin, a type of prebiotic fibre that has been linked to increased weight loss and improved gut health.

  • It also contains some manganese and vitamin B6, two nutrients tied to brain health.

So basically, by switching to chicory I am going to be calm, free of pesticides, my gut is going to love me, I am going to be super slim and super brainy - win! win!

Not so fast, my friends, there is, as always, some drawbacks to drinking something different:

  • Chicory may trigger an allergic reaction in some people, causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tingling of the mouth.

  • Also, people with an allergy to ragweed or birch pollen should avoid chicory to limit negative side effects

  • If you experience any negative symptoms after consuming chicory coffee, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.

  • Furthermore, chicory coffee is not recommended for pregnant women, as chicory has been shown to trigger miscarriage and menstrual bleeding.

  • Lastly, research on the safety of chicory root for women who are breastfeeding is limited. Check with your doctor before consuming it to prevent adverse symptoms.

The above negative points were from Healthline and they provide references for those of you who want to look a little further into benefits/drawbacks.

In conclusion, I think in moderation, which is all I tend to drink coffee in any way (unlike G&T but as you know, that is another story) pure, organic chicory coffee is the way forward for me - try it and let us know what you think.

more later x

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