Leek is a member of the allium family, which also includes onions, garlic, and shallots. It is a biennial plant, meaning that it takes two years to complete its life cycle. In the first year, the plant grows a long, thick stalk with a cluster of leaves at the top. In the second year, the plant flowers and produces seeds.
Leeks are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Leeks are believed to have originated in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and were cultivated by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They were introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages and quickly became a popular vegetable.
One cup of chopped leeks contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 31
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin A: 100% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 25% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 175% of the DV
- Folate: 20% of the DV
Leeks have been linked to a number of health benefits, including:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved digestion
- Boosted immune system
- Weight loss
- Improved skin health
- Reduced inflammation
Leeks can be used in a variety of dishes, including:
- Pasta dishes
How to Store
Leeks should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container. They will keep for up to 7 days.
- When choosing leeks, look for ones that are firm and have smooth, unblemished skin.
- Trim the root end and the dark green leaves from the leeks.
- Wash the leeks thoroughly under cold water, paying special attention to the inner layers.
- Leeks can be eaten raw, but they are more commonly cooked.
- Leeks can be cooked in a variety of ways, including sautéing, roasting, braising, and grilling.
- Leeks are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes.
- Contain a variety of nutrients. ...
- Packed with beneficial plant compounds. ...
- May reduce inflammation and promote heart health. ...
- May aid weight loss. ...
- May protect against certain cancers. ...
- May promote healthy digestion. ...
- Easy to add to your diet.