Leek, rich in potassium, light and digestive

The leek is a vegetable that is usually found in the market all year round, although it is considered typically winter 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 onion, belongs to the botanical family of Liliaceae. However, its leaves are large and flat, the shape of the bulb is elongated instead of rounded, and it is softer on the palate.

summer and winter

Leeks can be consumed raw, as an ingredient in salads, and also cooked in soups, stews and stews. It has the quality of flavoring dishes without hiding other flavors. There are several varieties of leek, which differ in their size, consistency and flavor. Thus, autumn and winter leeks are thicker and have a more pronounced flavor, while summer leeks are usually smaller in size and have a less intense flavor.

Leek, rich in potassium

In 100 grams of edible portion, the largest component of leek is water (89%). As for its immediate principles or macronutrients, carbohydrates (7,5 g) and its richness in dietary fiber (3 g) stand out moderately. The protein content is low (2 g), as in all vegetables, and the presence of lipids is almost zero (0,4 g). A large leek (200 grams) provides only 80 calories.

Regarding the minerals of the leek, it is worth highlighting its richness in potassium (260 mg). It also provides calcium (60 mg), phosphorus (50 mg) and magnesium (18 mg). And, in smaller quantities, 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 if consumed raw. It also contains B vitamins: folates (127 mcg) and vitamin B6 (0,25 mg), important for the nervous and immune systems. Folates help regulate the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood, whose high concentration is considered a cardiovascular risk factor.

Light and digestive

Leek is an excellent ally for losing weight. In addition to being hypocaloric, its mild diuretic and laxative effects help to purify and lighten the body, while its richness in fiber provides a feeling of satiety.
On the other hand, it has natural antibiotic properties.

However, some people may have some digestive intolerance to this vegetable, mainly due to its sulfur compounds. Those with kidney stones should also consume it in moderation, due to the presence of oxalates.

In addition to vitamins C and E, leek provides polyphenols, of preventive value due to their antioxidant protective action. This favors the incidence of vascular alterations that affect the heart and brain, as well as degenerative diseases.

In fact, various studies indicate that leek helps prevent various types of cancer, especially prostate and colorectal cancer. Both quercetin and other polyphenols inhibit the carcinogenesis. It is true that leek contains less quercetin than garlic and onion, but it also protects blood vessels and can help reduce ovarian cancer in women and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Leek and Blue Cheese Tart

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
  2. Wash and cut the leeks into thin slices. Chop the garlic finely.
  3. In a skillet with olive oil, sauté the garlic until golden. Add the leeks and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until tender.
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the cream, blue cheese, grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the sautéed leeks and mix well.
  6. Place a shortcrust pastry base in a cake pan. 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.
  9. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips:

  • You can add other vegetables to the cake, such as mushrooms, onions or zucchini.
  • If you don't have blue cheese, you can substitute 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 Ávalos (kitchen)