Leek is a vegetable considered a relative of garlic, onion, chives and chives, which we use in cooking throughout the year.
Leeks are moderate in carbohydrates (7.5 g/100 g), low in protein (2 g) and high in fiber (3 g).
Among its minerals, potassium (260 mg), calcium (60 mg), phosphorus (50 mg) and magnesium (18 mg) stand out. And, to a lesser extent, in addition to sulfur, there are iron and trace elements such as selenium, manganese and silicon.
Regarding its vitamins, vitamins C (30 mg) and E (2 mg) stand out, as well as the B group vitamins: folate (127 mcg) and vitamin B6 (0.25 mg), important for the nervous systems and immune.
The sulfur compounds that are at the origin of the virtues of garlic and onion to improve circulation, resist infections and prevent cancer, are also found in this bulb, although in lesser quantities.
The Aleek essential oil it is partly expelled by the lungs, which has a beneficial microbicidal effect in case of colds or bronchitis. Likewise, the presence of mucilaginous and expectorant substances helps to improve pharyngitis, laryngitis, hoarseness and bronchitis.
Being alkalizing and diuretic due to the high presence of potassium and low in sodium, Eating this vegetable in case of rheumatism, arthritis or gout can help inflamed joints.
For his diuretic qualities, Helps reduce high blood pressure. Likewise, alliin – the active ingredient also found in garlic and onion – helps lower blood cholesterol, especially the so-called “bad” or LDH.
Folates and polyphenols neutralize free radicals. This prevents the formation of atheroma plaques in the arterial walls, angina pectoris and heart attack.
Prevents the formation of varicose veins and other venous disorders due to its beneficial action on the blood vessels (preserves their flexibility) and its fibrinolytic properties (fluidizes the blood, which prevents the formation of thrombi).
Help to fight against the presence of fungi and bacteria pathogen thanks to its microbicidal substances. The fiber and mucilage also stimulate intestinal transit, which relieves constipation and prevents flatulence.
The presence of folate contributes to good fetal development, especially in the first weeks of pregnancy. Most pregnant women take folic acid supplements, but it is just as good to include this vegetable in the diet.
It is a vegetable consumed throughout the year, but more in demand in autumn, winter and spring.
It is a vegetable recommended for its high percentage of mineral salts such as phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
For consumption, the basal part of it is used, which includes the bulb and the leaves that are inside the pod. It is used as a condiment for cooking because of its pleasant flavor.
It is a vegetable of which only the cylindrical basal part is usually used, which corresponds to the bulb and the section of the sheathing leaves, which are generally blanched. It is mainly used as a condiment for its excellent flavor, cooked, in soups, gratins, etc. (Castell Roig, 2001).
Almost all the leek produced (85%) is intended for the fresh market. The rest goes to the processing industry (MARM, 2009).
It is thought to come from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Turkey and Israel, where it was consumed around 3000 or 4000 BC. Later it was cultivated by the Romans who, in addition to being great consumers of this vegetable, introduced it in Great Britain. , where he had great acceptance. Its name was associated with “oriental garlic” and it was used for cooking stews and for medicine.
Around the Middle Ages, its cultivation spread to Europe and from there to the rest of the world. Known since Antiquity, the Gauls hung bundles of leeks from their helmets, as a magic-protective and ostentatious element. It was also used to appease the hunger of the time and the many plagues and epidemics that broke out.
You might be interested in reading: Vegetables and root vegetables: Do not discard the stems, leaves or skin!
From the Middle Ages, the leek began to acquire importance because its consumption helped to appease the hunger of that time. It was then that its cultivation spread throughout Europe and, from there, to the rest of the world.
The main producing countries in the world, according to official data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), are, in order of importance: Turkey, France, Belgium, -Bas, Poland and Germany.
Auyama and leek cream
- 2 cups hot water
- 3 cups Auyama peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1 heaping tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablet of chicken broth
- 1 unit evaporated milk 300 ml
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped leek
- 1. In a pot, bring the water, auyama, onion, butter and Chicken Bouillon to the heat. Cook until the auyama is tender, remove from heat, let cool.
- 2. Mix the cooled auyama with the evaporated milk, return to the heat, add the pepper, cook for 5 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency. Remove from heat and serve.
Leek and zucchini pancakes
100 g matured goat’s cheese
¼ liter of milk
20g of butter
Extra virgin olive oil
To make the pancake batter, beat the eggs and add the sifted flour, milk, two tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Mix with a mixer until a homogeneous lump-free mass is obtained.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, pour a ladle of batter, spread well and let set; flip it over and cook for 1 minute to cook the other side. Repeat the same operation with the rest of the pancakes and set aside.
Wash the leeks, cut the base with the root and remove the greenest outer leaves. Chop them and cook them over medium heat in a pan with a little oil. Season with salt.
Peel the zucchini, cut it into cubes and add it. Cover and leave until the vegetables are ready.
Place a portion of the vegetable mixture and a few pieces of cheese on one side of each pancake.
Fold the pancakes in half and then again (it should be a triangle). Serve immediately with a little grated cheese on top and a small julienne of leeks to decorate.
Leak au gratin
Clean the leeks and cook them for about 20 minutes with water and salt. Then drain and wrap each leek with a slice of ham. Drizzle with cream and cover with grated cheese. Gratinate 3 min.