What are Leeks?

Sometimes I feel like I'm speaking a foreign language. When my friends or family ask me what I had for lunch, it's not uncommon to describe a dish made with quinoa, lentils, tempeh or even leeks.

Then they get quiet -- and remember I'm not a fast-food burger kind of girl.

One mysterious green vegetable that's recently wrinkled noses and turned faces quizzical is the almighty leek. It looks like a fat green onion -- long and slender with a narrow white bulb topped with greenery.

Photo by Angela Tague / Angela's Images

I adore their mildly spicy onion-esque flavor and add them to soups, salads and even roasted them for St. Patrick's Day dinner. Leeks are in the same family of veggies as onions, garlic, chives and shallots.

Awhile back I had the pleasure of chatting with Camilla V. Saulsbury, PhD for an article I wrote on the Tom's of Maine website about leeks. She's a fitness trainer with a background in sociology, health and medicine and the author of Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook.

Here's a few facts she mentioned about leeks:
  • Leeks are a source of allicin which helps reduce cholesterol production, coronary artery disease, strokes, and has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties when eaten in moderate quantities.
  • Leeks are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K.
  • Leeks also contain manganese, folate, copper, iron and calcium.
  • Leeks are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber.
So, do you ever add this green vegetable to your menu? How do you like to eat leeks? Tell me in the comments below.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Bored? Visit me on Facebook! I'd love to chat!


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