Leeks are delicious, they are very healthy and nutritious and
have many benefits to off to our health. Leeks are a member of
the onion family and along with chives and garlic, they are part
of the allium family.
This group of health benefiting vegetables help our bodies to
fight against heart disease as they are good for the blood,
assisting the heart in functioning well and can significantly
help to reduce cholesterol.
Leeks contain essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals. This
vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C, iron and fibre which
are all excellent for our health and well-being. Leeks have a
distinctive and delicious flavor. The taste is quite mild,
particularly compared to other members of the onion family.
Leeks are healthy vegetables that have long white stems and long
green outer leaves, sometimes referred to as flags. Mild, sweet
and distinct in flavor and very beneficial to our health as this
is a vegetable that positively helps to fight against heart
The typical size of a leek, that has been
commercially grown, is approximately 25cm in length and 2cm in
diameter. Leeks can be grown to a much bigger size than this,
however, often over growing this vegetable will result in the
leeks obtaining a woody centre.
Leeks are low in calories, they are full of goodness and
vitality, this healthy vegetable can be eaten raw - young leeks
can be sliced, mixed with shredded cabbage and added to a winter
salad! The amount of calories in leeks depends on the way that
the leek is cooked, for example if the leek is baked, grilled,
roasted, steamed or boiled.
The following calorie guide
can be used to calculate the amount of calories in leek.
Calories in Leeks per 100
Trimmed Leeks - 22 calories
Trimmed, Chopped, Boiled Leeks -
Preparing Leeks for Cooking
When preparing leeks for cooking one must bear in mind the
freshness of the vegetable. For example, if you have home grown
the vegetable yourself and have freshly picked it, then the
majority of the leek, once it has been cut according, should be
Cutting the Leek:
The white base of the leek should be trimmed and the green flags
(leaves) should be cut leaving just the white stem.
you have cut the leek, peel away the first white layer if the
vegetable is not fresh. Now you are ready to cut a slit through
to the centre of the leek, running through the whole length of
it. Wash the leek well as soil can become lodged between the
layers of the vegetable during the growing process.
Gently pull the layers apart,
taking care not to damage the layers, and run it under cold
water. Once sliced, the leeks should be placed in a colander and
rinsed further as the soil really can be difficult to completely
remove from in between the layers of the vegetable.
Cooking and Popular Recipes for Leeks
Leeks are a versatile vegetable that makes a delicious
ingredient when added to many different recipes with leeks. One
of the most popular recipes being for soups with leeks. As we
all know leek soup recipes are very popular and some of the most
famous soups with leeks are 'cock-a-leekie soup' and 'crème
This is such a popular vegetable to
use in soup recipes and leeks are often referred to as 'the king
of the soup onions'. Leeks are also very popular for use in
other healthy foods recipes including pies, soups, casseroles
This vegetable should be boiled in a small amount of water for
no longer than ten minutes then drained well, it should then be
returned to the pan and gently heated for five minutes to dry
off excess water. Leeks can be served with sauce or a little
melted butter which makes them a delicious addition to a meal.
There are many different cooking methods and ways to cook
leek which include roasting, boiling, blanching, stir-frying,
baking, and steaming.
Freezing and Storing Leeks
Leeks can be stored for up to five days, inside a polythene
bag, in the refrigerator. If you are freezing leeks, then cut
them into small chunks and blanche them for three minutes first.
Allow them to cool, drain and dry the chunks on a paper towel
before placing in a polythene bag and freezing.