Praise for chicory and nutritious potato
For example, at the beginning of autumn it tickles again, you long for those typical autumn vegetables and in particular you get a craving for chicory. Because it is true that chicory can not only be processed in a versatile way, but is perfectly suited to this season with its firm taste and structure.
Chicory has been a popular vegetable in Dutch and Belgian cuisine since the nineteenth century. The method of cultivation was developed in the Brussels area, hence the old name ‘Brussels praise’.
The growth of chicory
Chicory grows from chicory roots (the roots of the chicory plant). The pens are harvested in the autumn and stored in cold stores. Here they are placed in containers with a layer of water. After about a month, a sturdy little stump has grown out of those pens. Because it is dark in the cold stores, the chicory leaves (formerly called foliage) remain beautifully white. That is also the reason that this vegetable is called chicory. Under the influence of the light, the chicory leaves turn green and the edges curl.
Light in calories
Chicory goes well in slim salads. Raw chicory has a nutritional value of only 2 kilocalories per 100 grams! And what about grilled chicory with cheese curls and olives? Incidentally, you give that dish a spicy accent with some finely chopped flat parsley. Very surprising such a chicory dish from the grill pan with marinated shallots. Balsamic vinegar has a long shelf life. It is not only tasty in dressings, but also, for example, on halved cherry tomatoes or al dente green beans with smoked bacon cubes. For the much-needed variety, chicory salad with parsley dressing and crunchy, fresh apple is also not to be missed. Another suggestion is the real Dutch classic: chicory with ham, cheese and velvety mustard-mashed potatoes. This is a dish that you can prepare the day before and keep covered in the refrigerator. On the day itself, you bake the dish in the hot oven for 25 minutes.
You can cook chicory, stir-fry, grill, or use it in a salad or oven dish. You need one to two stumps per person. Within ten to fifteen minutes, you can cook chicory in a little water with a little salt. If you are going to wok, the chicory cut into pieces in the wok will be al dente in four to six minutes. Raw chicory is delicious in salads with fruit and a fresh dressing. But nuts also combine well with chicory.
It is best to keep chicory in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. The vegetables will then stay fresh for several days. Before use, cut the firm, lower part of the chicory, remove any slightly damaged outer leaves and remove the hard core that is inside the stump.
Potato: a nutritious crop
The showpiece of arable farming is the potato. This pride of our country was brought to Europe by the Spaniards from Peru in the 16th century. Our potatoes are harvested from plants that grow on ridges of soil.
The potato is a tasty and nutritious crop. The potato is recommended worldwide as a weapon against hunger. The tuber contains high-quality proteins, vitamin C and carbohydrates. 1 hectare of potatoes provides more nutrition than any other crop. Dutch arable farmers are world leaders. They easily manage 50 tons of potatoes per hectare.
Hydrogen from potatoes
Scientists at the University of Wageningen are working on the development of a technique that can be used to extract hydrogen from potato peel steam for use as fuel for hydrogen engines.
Seed potato cultivation for ware potatoes
Dutch arable farming is a worldwide supplier of seed potatoes for the cultivation of consumption potatoes. Seed potatoes of more than 200 potato varieties are grown on the Dutch fields.
Potato starch multi-applicable
The starch of the potato is used to make a binder for soups and sauces. But the potato also provides the raw material for glue, liquorice, soft drinks, effervescent tablets, biodegradable plastics, diapers and many more products. Potato protein is now also a replacement for animal protein and raw material for meringues, biscuits, ice cream and baby food.
Potatoes are best stored in a dry, dark place, outside the refrigerator. If potatoes see light and are stored for too long, they can turn green and form white shoots. ‘Bruises’ on a potato are caused by damage during or after harvesting. These bruises do not affect the taste of the potato.
The Pieperpad is a cycling route that runs from Lauwersmeer in Friesland to Heikant in Zeeland. The route takes you past potato fields and organic potato growers and can be found on the internet.
Potato supplier of oxygen
One hectare of potatoes provides 7.5 million liters of oxygen, according to a scientist from the University of Gottingen.