Health & Wellness

Put Healthy Leeks on Your Menus

If you haven't become a lover of leeks yet, you'll want to start putting this healthful vegetable on your grocery list. Leeks contain high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols and a flavonoid known as kaempferol which helps protect blood vessel linings from damage. Additional health benefits that leeks may provide include providing protection against diabetes, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis to name a couple.

The most concentrated area of flavonoids found in leeks is in bulb portion and lower leaf. Look for leeks with dark green leaves and white necks, as well as being straight and firm. Leeks that have a diameter of 1½ inches or less are less fibrous, so you'll want to steer away from leeks that are extra-large. Store unwashed fresh leeks in the refrigerator (for up to two weeks) until you're ready to use them. Because leeks can contain grit and dirt in within its layers, it's important that you wash them well.

Make a leek and olive tart, a leek and potato galette, or potato leek soup this week, or make some simple leek side dishes, such as braised leeks, leeks with vinaigrette, or creamed leeks. The distinct flavor and uniqueness of leeks have people seeking out this vegetable on restaurant menus and for home cooking.