Escarole: What It Is For And How To Consume It (With Recipes)
Endive is a vegetable with optimal amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and caffeic acid, nutrients with antioxidant properties that fight free radicals in the body, helping to prevent diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and stroke.
In addition to that, escarole also has reasonable amounts of inulin, a fiber that increases stool volume, facilitating intestinal transit and helping to combat constipation.
Endive is a vegetable from the chicory family, and it has dark green leaves, a firm texture, and a slightly bitter taste. This vegetable can be found in supermarkets and eaten raw, in salads and juices, cooked fried, or on pizza.
Because it contains optimal amounts of antioxidants, and fibers, in addition to vitamin C, A, and K, escarole has the following health benefits:
1. Helps control blood pressure
Escarole has reasonable amounts of potassium, a mineral that facilitates the elimination of excess sodium in the body through urine, helping to control high blood pressure.
In addition to that, escarole is also a source of vitamin C, vitamin A and caffeic acid, nutrients with antioxidant properties that protect the arteries and improve blood circulation.
2. Facilitate weight loss
Because it contains optimal amounts of fiber, escarole helps form a type of gel in the stomach, increasing the time it takes to digest food, prolonging satiety, and facilitating weight loss.
Endive also has a low glycemic index, being a perfect option to include in diets—Low-carb, a diet where carbohydrate intake is decreased and protein consumption is increased, promoting weight loss.
3. Prevent osteoporosis
Endive is rich in vitamin K, an essential vitamin that helps fix calcium in the bones, preventing osteoporosis.
Also, because it contains calcium, escarole helps keep bones healthy by preventing situations such as fractures.
4. Control diabetes
The fibers present in escarole slow down the speed of absorption of sugar from food, promoting a balance of blood glucose levels, avoiding insulin resistance, and controlling diabetes.
5. Strengthen the immune system
Endive has reasonable amounts of caffeic acid and flavonoids, bioactive compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action that strengthen the cells of the immune system, helping to fight viruses, bacteria, and fungi, preventing situations such as flu, sinusitis, and allergies.
6. Reduce triglycerides and cholesterol
Because it has reasonable amounts of fiber, escarole decreases the absorption of fat from food, reducing the levels of “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, and triglycerides in the blood, helping to prevent diseases such as heart failure and atherosclerosis, and stroke.
7. Prevent wrinkles and sagging
Endive contains vitamin A, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, compounds with antioxidant properties that fight free radicals, which are the main ones responsible for skin damage, preventing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging.
In addition to that, this vegetable also contains vitamin C, a vitamin involved in the formation of collagen, promoting the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
8. Keep the gut healthy
Endive contains outstanding amounts of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, helping to balance the intestinal flora, preventing the onset of diarrhea, intestinal infections, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Because it contains reasonable amounts of soluble fibers, escarole also increases the volume of the fecal bolus, facilitating intestinal transit and fighting constipation.
9. Improve mood
Endive helps improve mood because it contains reasonable amounts of inulin, a prebiotic that strengthens beneficial bacteria in the intestine, helping to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating sleep, appetite, and mood.
Difference Between Endive and Chicory
Despite being a vegetable from the same family and having a similar flavor to escarole, chicory has shorter and wavy leaves.
Instead, escarole has longer leaves resembling lettuce and can have smooth or wavy leaf tips.
Endive nutritional information
The following table shows the nutritional information of 100 g of raw and cooked escarole:
|Components||Raw escarole (100 g)||Cooked escarole (100 g)|
|Energy||15 calories||18 calories|
It is essential to mention that to obtain the benefits of escarole, it must be consumed together with a balanced and healthy diet and regular physical activity.
How to consume
Endive can be consumed raw in salads and juices or cooked in preparations such as cakes, soups, pizzas, omelets, and stir-fries.
Tasty recipes with escarole
Here are some tasty and straightforward endive recipes:
1. endive pizza
- 1 slice of homemade whole-grain pizza dough;
- 1/2 cup homemade tomato juice;
- 1 thread of oil;
- 2 cups of fried escarole;
- Zest of 1 lemon;
- Parmesan cheese to taste;
- pepper to taste
Drain the fried escarole well—Preheat the oven to 250 °C. Place the pizza dough in a bowl. Spread the tomato juice over the dough with a spoon and cover with the escarole. Add the pepper and a trickle of oil to the pizza, taking it to the oven for 15 minutes or until the dough is golden. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese and serve.
2. Fried escarole
Wash the escarole leaves well and drain. Gather 4 to 5 sheets, one on top of the other on a cutting board. Roll up the leaves and cut them into thin strips of 1 cm and reserve. Chop the garlic and reserve.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, adding the oil and minced garlic, browning for 2 minutes. Then, add the escarole little by little and brown, mixing with a spoon or spatula, for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the pepper and salt to taste, mixing well. Finally serve.