Frisee
by Dr. Jagdev Singh04-Sep-2013

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Frisee is commonly called as Frisee and belongs to the chicory genus. This includes several bitter leafed vegetables of similar type. The varieties include frisee (Cichorium endivia) and common chicory (Cichorium intybus). Common chicory further elongates as its subspecies types such as radicchio, Belgian Frisee and puntarelle. Their resemblance in name lead to confusion between Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus. Frisee is often mistaken for Belgian Frisee. The frisee leaves have slightly bitter and nutty taste. The stem of frisee is crunchy and crispy. It is mostly added in salads and gives a nice texture and taste to salads.

 

There are two main varieties of cultivated frisee:


Curly frisee, or frisée

This type has narrow and green leaves curled outwards. It is called as chicory in the United States and chicorée frisée in France. The word frisée also refers to a technique of wilting greens lightly using oil.


Escarole or broad-leafed frisée

It has broad and pale green leaves.  It is less bitter when compared to other varieties.  Other varieties of frisee include Bavarian frisée, Batavian frisée, grumolo and scarole.

6 Health benefits of Frisée:
Frisee is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A and K. It also contains folate and high in fiber. The health benefits of Frisee are as follows:

Loss your weight
Frisée is one of the lowest calorie vegetable. 100 g fresh serving of frisee releases just 17 calories. It can be consumed alone or with other vegetables in form of salads. It contributes about 8% of daily fiber requirement. It is good for people with obesity.



Good against diabetes
Recent medicinal studies suggest that high insulin and fiber content in the frisee help to reduce glucose and cholesterol levels. This significantly adds strength to diabetes patients and people with obesity.



A good antioxidant
Frisée is comprised considerable amount Vitamin A and ß-carotene. Both compounds proved to exhibit antioxidant properties. Further, vitamin A is required for maintaining health of mucous membranes and skin complexion. The presence of vitamin-A sharpens the eyesight and prevents the risk of night blindness.

Vitamin Supply
Consumption of frisee supplies vitamin-A and essential B-complex groups such as folic acid, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin-B1 (thiamin) and vitamin-B3 (niacin). Frisee acts as external sources of vitamins and replenishment. It is also required for the metabolism of fat and carbohydrate.

Reduces hypertension and increase immunity
Escarole, a variety of frisee is a good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, and potassium. Manganese is used in the immune system as a co-factor for the synthesis of antioxidant enzyme named superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important mineral, which helps in countering the hypertension effects.

 

Keeps you active
Frisee is a family of chicory which is used in addition to coffee to make the taste better. Roasted and ground frisee seeds in combination with coffee impart refreshing taste and aroma. Caffeine present in coffee in addition with chicory keeps you active throughout the day. It stimulates the important sensory region of the brain. Frisee seeds eradicate free radical damage caused to the brain and increases oxygen throughout the body.



Frisee has the above said benefits yet it has certain demerits as well. Adding excess frisee seed can affect your sleep and may lead to insomnia. The addition of frisee seeds should be in appropriate proportion. Variation in the proportion of frisee seed blending can cause spoilage of the coffee flavor. Prolonged consumption of frisee can result in bitterness of mouth and addiction to coffee drinking habit.

 

Storing frisée requires extreme care that tightly closed packaging does not allow the frisee greens to breathe and makes it to rot faster. Make sure that air can circulate inside the storage container or in refrigerator wherever it is stored.



While preparing frisée, tear it into pieces using your hand rather than cutting it using a knife or chopper. Limp frisée lettuce can be revived by drenching it first into lukewarm water and followed by drenching into ice water to pose shock over it. Frisee lettuces do not tolerate freezing. Hence, even the storage of Frisee in the refrigerator should not reach the freezing temperature or it is not suggested to store Frisee in freezers. Serving frisee lettuce along with hot dishes makes it to wilt. Also consuming frisee lettuce in raw and fresh form is most suggested than cooking it. Cooking results in loss of taste and nutrients. 


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