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Endive: Spring Veggie Spotlight

Endive: Spring Veggie Spotlight

Spring is endive season. Have you been passing over the endive at the farmers market? This salad green might not look like much, but it’s actually a flavorful nutritional powerhouse! Grab some endive, and check out why you should eat it along with some tips on how to eat more endive.

This ancient green veggie has a slightly bitter flavor that’s a lovely addition to salads or a raw veggie plate. Don’t let endive’s bitterness put you off! The trick to enjoying endive is combining it with other foods. Here are a few ways that I like to eat endive:

  • In place of chips. Are you serving up hummus or another healthy dip? Offer leaves of endive instead of tortilla chips for dipping.
  • Grilled. What better way to celebrate spring than throwing seasonal veggies on the grill? Check out this simple recipe for grilling your endive.
  • In salads. Endive is a salad superstar. Chop or shred the leaves up with milder salad greens or sweet veggies like carrots and beets for a punch of flavor. A fruity vinaigrette is great on an endive salad!
Endive Salad

raw endive salad with carrots, pumpkin seeds and bean sprouts

Health Benefits of Endive

Whether you choose flat-leaf — also known as escarole — or curly endive, your body will thank you! A head of endive contains 222 percent of your daily vitamin A and 1481 percent of your vitamin K. As I’ve discussed before, vitamin K is an essential piece of the bone health puzzle that we often overlook.

If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you definitely want to eat more of this spring veggie, because a head of endive also contains 182 percent of your daily requirement for folic acid.

Endive is also a rich source of trace minerals like manganese, copper and zinc. Your body only needs a tiny amount of these minerals each day, but they’re essential for everything from healthy bones to a strong immune system.

There isn’t a lot of research specifically on endive, but I did find a couple of interesting tidbits. One study looked at beta carotene and found that mature endive actually has more beta carotene than young leaves. Normally folks sing the praises of microgreens, but when it comes to endive, waiting may be more beneficial.

Another study looked at how preparing different lettuces impacted their flavonoid content. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help support immune health and often have anti-aging properties. This study showed that shredding endive or exposing it to light caused the most flavonoid loss. That doesn’t mean you can’t shred your endive in your cooking. The loss isn’t instant. Just don’t shred and store it. To retain its beneficial flavonoids, store your endive whole in a dark, cool place like the produce drawer of your refrigerator.

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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7:03PM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

does endive have any B12?? Heard it may give 25 days B12 / head ... but cant find the article/ proof?? many tx in advance if u can point me in the right direction.

1:44AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

never even heard of this veggie/food before, but thanks

1:32AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

In the last 2 years I have not seen a leaf of endive nor curly endive in any of our supermarkets where we live. This article is a good reminder to try and do something about that. I wonder if it's easy to grow Endive in a container?

6:57AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

A nice looking salad.

7:02AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

I usually add Belgian endive to a romaine-based salad along with a little radicchio. Besides its mild flavor, it adds color and texture.

3:57PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

3:57PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

10:24PM PDT on Jun 10, 2014

En dive into another healthy tasty treat - smile

9:44AM PDT on Jun 10, 2014


1:56AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

thanks I will try it when I see it in shops

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