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Periwinkle Paradise! It's Chicory
Parts: Leaves and root
For: Chicory is commonly seen along roadsides. It has prolific periwinkle flowers that line the roadsides in late summer. The fresh young leaves are great in salads in the spring before the flower stalk appears, then they turn bitter. Very similar looking to dandelion in the springtime. You can roast the root in a 250 degree oven for 2-4 hours, until its dark brown, brittle and fragrant, then grind it in a blender to make a caffeine free coffee substitute. Roasted chicory root is a common ingredient in many commercially sold herbal teas (such as Celestial Seasonings brand) and some instant coffees. Medicinally and nutritionally it has properties similar to dandelion.