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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Leeks (Wild Ramps) : Health and Nutrition Benefits

Alina Petre writes:
"Leeks belong to the same family as onions, shallots, scallions, chives, and garlic.
They look like a giant green onion but have a much milder, somewhat sweet flavour and a creamier texture when cooked. Leeks are usually cultivated, but wild varieties, such as the North American wild leek — also known as ramps — are gaining popularity. Ramps are popular with foragers and top chefs alike due to their potent flavour, which is a cross between garlic, scallions, and commercially grown leeks. All varieties of leeks are nutritious and thought to offer a host of health benefits.

Here are some health benefits of leeks and wild ramps.

Contain a variety of nutrients
Leeks are low in calories but high in nutrients, particularly magnesium and vitamins A, C, and K. They boast small amounts of fibre, copper, vitamin B6, iron, and folate.

Packed with beneficial plant compounds
Leeks are rich in antioxidants and sulphur compounds, especially kaempferol and allicin. These are thought to protect your body from disease.

May reduce inflammation and promote heart health
Leeks contain heart-healthy plant compounds shown to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, the formation of blood clots, and your overall risk of heart disease.

May aid weight loss
The fibre and water in leeks can promote fullness and prevent hunger, which may aid weight loss. Furthermore, this vegetable is very low in calories.

May protect against certain cancers
Some studies suggest that leek compounds may fight cancer and that high intake of alliums, including leeks and wild ramps, may lower your risk of this disease. Still, more studies are needed.

May promote healthy digestion
Leeks are a good source of soluble fibre, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. In turn, these bacteria reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.

Other potential benefits
Leeks may help lower blood sugar levels, promote brain function, and fight infections. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

Easy to add to your diet
Leeks make a delicious, nutritious, and versatile addition to any diet.
To prepare them, cut the roots and dark green ends off, keeping only the white and light green parts. Then, slice them lengthwise and rinse under running water, scrubbing away the dirt and sand that may have accumulated between their layers.
Leeks can be eaten raw, but you can also poach, fry, roast, braise, boil, or pickle them. They make a great addition to soups, dips, stews, taco fillings, salads, quiches, stir-fries, and potato dishes. You can also eat them on your own.
You can refrigerate raw leeks for about a week and cooked ones for around two days.
Unlike cultivated leeks, wild ramps are incredibly pungent. Just a small amount of ramps can add a burst of strong, garlic-like flavour to your favourite dish.
Summary Leeks are versatile and easy to add to your diet. You can eat them on their own or add them to a variety of main or side dishes.

The bottom line
Leeks and wild ramps boast a variety of nutrients and beneficial compounds that may improve your digestion, promote weight loss, reduce inflammation, fight heart disease, and combat cancer. In addition, they may lower blood sugar levels, protect your brain, and fight infections. These alliums, which are closely related to garlic and onions, make great additions to a healthy diet."

Words above are a snippet from Alina's article which may be read in full with all research links here

Related Article
Leeks : A Versatile Member Of The Allium Family : Some Recipes : see here

Recipe Suggestions

Leek and Chorizo Frittata
more details here

Tuscan-style winter vegetable soup
contains a wonderful selection of vegetables including leeks
more details here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Conniecrafter said...

I will have to admit I have not tried them yet, nice knowing all the possible benefits and ways to use them :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Once upon a time, I grew leeks. Now I grow chives, which are much easier. Nice information, Jan.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

One of my favourite vegetables Jan 💚

Tom said...

...I've never had them.

Valerie-Jael said...

Really yummy! Have a great day, Valerie

Elephant's Child said...

Yum. I need to make much more use of them than I do.

eileeninmd said...


I have never tried Leeks. The frittata and the soup look delicious.
Thanks for sharing. Take care, enjoy your day!

Pam said...

I just have one question, do you make all these meals you share with us?

Creations By Cindy said...

Those dishes look so good. I enjoy leeks but last few years we have grown chives and use them in so many different dishes. Did not know the benefits of them though. Thanks. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Angie said...

Jan - I love leeks. My husband's family makes a soup/stew that they call Panackelty that includes leeks, corned beef, potatoes, beans and carrots. (I have researched the name and understand that it may have been derived from Pan Haggerty, although that is more commonly a bake/casserole.) Anyway, I love this dish and just let my husband know we should have some soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

Martha said...

The recipes look delicious!

William Kendall said...

I've never had them either.

Christine said...

These recipes look delicious! Thanks for the nutritional information.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi everyone, many thanks for your comments so far, it's always lovely to receive, read and share them.

Pam asked, "do you make all these meals you share with us?"
No, not every one Pam.
Many of the suggestions I share I may try as per the original recipe but then amend slightly to better suit mine and Eddie's preferences.
The wonderful thing about cooking is there are so many wonderful recipes to share and try.

Angie commented about Panackelty that includes leeks, corned beef, potatoes, beans and carrots. She researched the name and understands that it may have been derived from Pan Haggerty...
Well, there is a wonderful recipe on the blog about this dish Panhaggerty.
It "is a famous British food from Northumberland, although it can be found across the whole of the northeast of England, (and other parts too) it is sometimes called Panackelty. Pan haggerty is a traditional one-pot wonder of bacon, potatoes and carrots, perfect for warming you up on a cold or cooler evening. It can also be served as a side with some leftover roast chicken...
Of course you could amend the recipe slightly and add leeks!
Read more here

Bon Appetit everyone.

All the best Jan

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Tasty in soups. Great recipes, thanx.

God bless.

My name is Erika. said...

Fascinating info about leeks. They do taste good!

Sandra Cox said...

Dang, who'd a thought? I need to get some leeks. The recipes sound luscious.

Margaret D said...

Good read. Love leeks but they don't like me.

Jules said...

The soup looks delicious. Soup is often on my meal plans as the weather turns colder. X

Ygraine said...

Oh I do like leeks...and your recipes have made me really hungry! They sound delicious!
Many thanks.😊😊

Have a lovely day.

Hugs xxx

R's Rue said...


Debbie said...

leeks are awesome in soup and hold up well!! i do love me a good frittata too!!!

Martha said...

I think I would love that soup!

♥ Łucja-Maria ♥ said...

I love leeks: in a casserole, soup.
The winter Tuscan-style vegetable soup is a real delight that I prepare quite often.
Hugs and greetings.

carol l mckenna said...

Great soup and vegetable recipes ^_^

Live with love each moment,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

mamasmercantile said...

The soup looks delicious and leeks are a great addition.