Leek, rich in potassium, light and digestive

The leek is a vegetable that is usually available in the market all year round, although it is considered a typical winter vegetable and not only adds flavor to many dishes such as comforting cold weather broths or the famous summer vichyssoise, but also enriches them with its healthy properties.

The leek (Allium porrum), like its relatives garlic and onions, belongs to the botanical family of lilies. However, the leaves are large and flat, the bulb shape is elongated instead of round, and it is softer on the palate.

summer and winter

Leeks can be eaten raw, as an ingredient in salads, but also cooked in soups, stews and casseroles. It has the quality to flavor dishes without hiding other flavors. There are different types of leeks that differ in size, consistency and taste. Autumn and winter leeks are thicker and have a more pronounced taste, while summer leeks are usually smaller and have a less intense taste.

Leek, rich in potassium

In 100 grams of edible portion, the largest leek component is water (89%). As far as its immediate raw materials or macronutrients are concerned, carbohydrates (7.5 g) and its richness in fiber (3 g) stand out moderately. The protein content is low (2 g), like all vegetables, and the proportion of lipids is almost zero (0.4 g). A large leek (200 grams) provides only 80 calories.

As far as the minerals in leek are concerned, what is particularly noteworthy is its richness in potassium (260 mg). It also provides calcium (60 mg), phosphorus (50 mg) and magnesium (18 mg). And in smaller amounts sulfur, iron and trace elements such as selenium, manganese and silicon.

Regarding its vitamin value, the presence of two vitamins with antioxidant properties stands out: vitamin C (30 mg) and E (2 mg), especially when consumed raw. It also contains B vitamins: folic acid (127 µg) and vitamin B6 (0.25 mg), important for the nervous and immune systems. Folates help regulate the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood, the high concentration of which is considered a cardiovascular risk factor.

Light and digestive

Leeks are an excellent ally in losing weight. In addition to being low in calories, its mild diuretic and laxative effect helps to cleanse and brighten the body, while its richness in fiber provides a feeling of satiety.
On the other hand, it has natural antibiotic properties.

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However, some people may experience digestive intolerance to this vegetable, largely due to its sulfur compounds. People with kidney stones should also consume it in moderation due to the oxalate content.

In addition to vitamins C and E, leek provides polyphenols, which have a preventative effect due to their antioxidant protective effect. This promotes the occurrence of vascular changes affecting the heart and brain, as well as degenerative diseases.

In fact, various studies suggest that leeks help prevent various types of cancer, especially prostate and colon cancer. Both quercetin and other polyphenols inhibit the development of cancer. While leeks contain less quercetin than garlic and onions, they also protect blood vessels and may help reduce ovarian cancer in women and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Leek and blue cheese tart

Ingredients:

  • 2 airy dough bases
  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150 ml cooking cream
  • 100g blue cheese
  • 50 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Wash the leek and cut into thin slices. Chop the garlic finely.
  3. Fry the garlic in a pan with olive oil until golden brown. Add the leeks and cook over medium heat until softened, 10 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with cream, blue cheese, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the sautéed leeks and mix well.
  6. Place a shortcrust pastry base in a cake tin. Pour the leek and cheese mixture over the dough. Cover with the other shortcrust pastry base and seal the edges.
  7. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the dough is golden brown.
  9. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips:

  • You can also add other vegetables to the cake, such as mushrooms, onions or zucchini.
  • If you don’t have blue cheese, you can substitute it with another type of cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella.
  • You can serve the cake with a green salad or with tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

Dr. Daniel Bonet (Health)
Santi Avalos (kitchen)

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