They look like a giant green onion but have a much milder, somewhat sweet flavour and a creamier texture when cooked. Leeks are usually cultivated, but wild varieties, such as the North American wild leek — also known as ramps — are gaining popularity. Ramps are popular with foragers and top chefs alike due to their potent flavour, which is a cross between garlic, scallions, and commercially grown leeks. All varieties of leeks are nutritious and thought to offer a host of health benefits.
Here are some health benefits of leeks and wild ramps.
Contain a variety of nutrients
Leeks are low in calories but high in nutrients, particularly magnesium and vitamins A, C, and K. They boast small amounts of fibre, copper, vitamin B6, iron, and folate.
Packed with beneficial plant compounds
Leeks are rich in antioxidants and sulphur compounds, especially kaempferol and allicin. These are thought to protect your body from disease.
May reduce inflammation and promote heart health
Leeks contain heart-healthy plant compounds shown to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, the formation of blood clots, and your overall risk of heart disease.
May aid weight loss
The fibre and water in leeks can promote fullness and prevent hunger, which may aid weight loss. Furthermore, this vegetable is very low in calories.
May protect against certain cancers
Some studies suggest that leek compounds may fight cancer and that high intake of alliums, including leeks and wild ramps, may lower your risk of this disease. Still, more studies are needed.
May promote healthy digestion
Leeks are a good source of soluble fibre, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. In turn, these bacteria reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.
Other potential benefits
Leeks may help lower blood sugar levels, promote brain function, and fight infections. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.Easy to add to your diet
Leeks make a delicious, nutritious, and versatile addition to any diet.
To prepare them, cut the roots and dark green ends off, keeping only the white and light green parts. Then, slice them lengthwise and rinse under running water, scrubbing away the dirt and sand that may have accumulated between their layers.
Leeks can be eaten raw, but you can also poach, fry, roast, braise, boil, or pickle them. They make a great addition to soups, dips, stews, taco fillings, salads, quiches, stir-fries, and potato dishes. You can also eat them on your own.
You can refrigerate raw leeks for about a week and cooked ones for around two days.
Unlike cultivated leeks, wild ramps are incredibly pungent. Just a small amount of ramps can add a burst of strong, garlic-like flavour to your favourite dish.
Summary Leeks are versatile and easy to add to your diet. You can eat them on their own or add them to a variety of main or side dishes.
The bottom line
Leeks and wild ramps boast a variety of nutrients and beneficial compounds that may improve your digestion, promote weight loss, reduce inflammation, fight heart disease, and combat cancer. In addition, they may lower blood sugar levels, protect your brain, and fight infections. These alliums, which are closely related to garlic and onions, make great additions to a healthy diet.”
Leeks : A Versatile Member Of The Allium Family : Some Recipes : see here
Leek and Chorizo Frittata
Tuscan-style winter vegetable soup
contains a wonderful selection of vegetables including leeks
This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
All the best Jan