Leek - a perennial herb of the family bulbous.
His homeland - the Mediterranean, there remained a wild form of the bow. In general, the leek grows well in warm climates. This is a fairly common vegetable crops in Europe and America.
Nutritional properties of leek make it especially valuable food for gourmets. In the absence of the sharp smell, he has a gentle slaboostrym flavors and aroma.
With the aim of food use false stems and young green leaves of the plant. In the first year of life grow rosette of leaves and stem length of 10 - 60 cm and a diameter of 2 - 5 cm. It is a productive body and ends at the bottom like a bulbous thickening. The flat linear leaves plants green, reach lengths of 90 cm and a width of 3 - 6 cm. In the second year onion blossoms, it looks like inflorescence spherical umbrella with lots of small white or pinkish flowers.
There are many varieties of this plant, the most widely used are ones like Mercury, late-Bulgarian and Karatau.
Useful properties of leek known since the Middle Ages. Now they are scientifically substantiated by the fact that the detailed composition of the studied plants. The stem and leaves of leeks have a high content of useful minerals - calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and sulfur. These substances are involved in the regulation of biochemical reactions and enter the cell structure. Iron is essential to prevent a decrease in hemoglobin. Potassium improves heart, a salt consisting plants have weak diuretic effect. In addition, leeks contain fiber and vegetable protein.
Leeks are also rich in vitamins B, C, PP, A. An interesting fact is that the storage of onions content of ascorbic acid in the white part of the false stem not only does not decrease, but even increased in 1, 5 times.
It should be noted favor leek in scurvy, kidney stones, rheumatism, gout, arteriosclerosis. It improves mood and gives strength in the physical and mental fatigue.
We know about the properties of leek able to normalize the metabolism, improve the functional activity of the digestive glands with increased production of enzymes and digestive juices. Therefore, it can be recommended for use for people with reduced appetite. Bile properties leek successfully used in congestive processes in the liver and failures in its work.
Calorie leek is about 40 kcal per 100 g, which is comparable with the figures of energy value of onions. This allows you to include in the diet of leeks obese people. Due to the high content of mineral salts, it speeds up the metabolism. Because of the low calorie leek can be attributed to the dietary product for obesity.
Before using the leeks in food, it should be thoroughly wash under running cold water from the ground, which falls between green leaves. Basically it is used fresh and sometimes canned. To stock up onions for the winter, it can be dried. Use leek preserved in frozen form, very often it is frozen in a mixture with other vegetables. Fresh stems in a cool place to maintain a fresh 5 months.
Leek is used as an ingredient in meat and vegetable soups, salads, sauces, made from a puree, add to the meat and fish dishes, scrambled eggs. The pleasant taste of this onion well with cheese.
Contraindications to the use of leeks
Since this plant has the ability to significantly stimulate the digestive gland, it can provoke an aggravation gastroduodenitis, gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer. In these diseases should be careful in the use of leek.