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Leeks

leek

Many people are unfamiliar with  how to cook leeks or how to include them into a Healthiest Way of Eating. Many people are unfamiliar with leeks in general. So let me tell you some really nice things about leeks and you will not stop cooking leeks after that.

Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables. With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis.

Leek has a mild onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves.

Leeks are very versatile and work well cooked in various recipes or as a side dish. Two of the world’s most famous soups, Scotland’s cock-a-leekie and France’s crème vichyssoise, are based around them. Thorough washing is very important for leeks, as soil is often trapped between the many layers of leaves. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.

Health benefits

– protects our blood vessel linings from damage, including damage by overly reactive oxygen molecules

– helps keep our levels of homocysteine in proper balance. Excessively high levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases

– protects our blood vessels and blood cells from oxidative damage

– they are still a highly valuable food in terms of these phytonutrient antioxidants and provide us with important cardiovascular benefits for this reason

– support for many health problems related to oxidative stress and chronic low-level inflammation (atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic airway inflammation)

– provides measurable amounts of protection against several different types of cancer, mostly likely including colorectal cancer

– contains many health-supportive substances that are similar to (or identical with) the substances in their fellow allium vegetables (onions and garlic)

Leeks are an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin A and anti-inflammatory vitamin K. They are very good source of bone-building manganese as well as heart-healthy vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6. Leeks are also a good source of digestion-supporting dietary fiber; bone-healthy magnesium, calcium, and copper; enzyme-generating molybdenum; and heart-healthy potassium. The considerable amount of sulfur found in leeks may play an important role in support of our body’s antioxidant and detox systems as well as the formation of our connective tissue.

You can store leeks in the fridge for one to two weeks. As their strong aroma can taint other foods, make sure they are well wrapped. Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator.

Cooked leeks are highly perishable, and even when kept in the refrigerator, will only stay fresh for about two days. Leeks may be frozen after being blanched for two to three minutes, although they will lose some of their desirable taste and texture qualities. Leeks will keep in the freezer for about three months.

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