What do leeks taste like, and what can you do with leeks. Are scallions only used as an ingredient in soups or are there many recipes that use them. Now it’s time to explore more about this leek!
In the past, I used to mix leeks with green onions and maybe you do too. Leeks are vegetables in the onion family, but the two are very different, not only in taste but also in terms of kitchen uses.
I love leeks and often use them in the kitchen, even I learned a lot about how to clean them. If you are also one of those who like leeks, then read on this article because we will explain everything about leeks.
Let’s get started!
What Are Leeks?
Before we start to learn a lot about the uses and benefits of leeks and how they taste. Let’s get acquainted first with this green vegetable.
Leeks are an important vegetable in making soup, but if that’s the only benefit, of course there are many benefits of leeks that we should know. Leeks are part of the onion family and are like other alliums such as garlic, shallots, and chives. The sizes also vary, some are large and some are small.
Its usefulness in the culinary world is very well known, throughout the world leeks are very useful in various dishes. For example, it is used in potato soup and leeks, but leeks are more versatile.
There is a difference between leeks and green onions, where the leeks are wider, thicker, the leaves are flat and the tubers grow together with the leaves (at the base of the leaf). A bunch of leaves growing together wrapped around the same stem, the leaves can be said starting from the tuber to the top, it’s just that the tuber is a bit white and denser.
The stems are close to each other, and get thinner as they move towards the center.
How Are Leeks Different From Green Onions?
Watch this to clearly know the difference between leeks and green onions. Apparently, leeks are the same as green onions, but they are two different plants, only from the same family. First, the difference is that leeks are much bigger than green onions.
The leaves of leeks are wide, dense, the taste is also different, and the use is also different. On the other hand, the difference between green onions and leeks is the bulb, where green onions have different bulbs with leaves, these are round or tuber-shaped at the root. Unlike the case with leeks, leeks do not have a bulb at the root. However, the leaves are well blended from the middle to the bottom, and the underside is white. While the green onion, it has a round tuber at the root.
So, if you are wondering whether green onions are young leeks or underage. So, to find out, check the roots. If there is a bulb, it’s green onions, not leeks.
You can also touch the leaves to see the difference between the two. Leeks leaves are coarser, fibrous, wide, and thick. If the green onions are thinner, moon and there are cavities, if you cut the leaves you will see holes.
Interesting Facts about Leeks
Is there an interesting fact behind leeks, is it Wales’ national emblems? Legend has it that the Heathfield battle in 633 C.E took place in the land of leeks. The Welsh warriors used leeks as identification. They in that war won the battle, and at that time leeks spread throughout the country as a symbol of victory.
People in Wales use leeks on March 1st. This is the day of St. David, the monk who came up with the idea to use the leek as a symbol. That’s an interesting and unique fact about leeks that you should know. This happened in past history.
What Do Leeks Taste Like?
Now when we see how leeks taste. In terms of taste, between leeks and green onions are also very different. Leeks taste much sweeter than green onions. Then, the way you cook leek also determines the level of taste that is given. Raw leeks have a tender taste that is even the most tender of all the leaves in the Onions family.
if you want, you can eat leeks raw. But most people use it in food or cook it before eating it.
If you want to eat leeks raw, I recommend cutting them in half a month in advance and using them in salads, burgers, noddles, and in a variety of sandwiches. Larger leeks have a stronger flavor level.
The texture of the leeks will vary according to how you cook them.
When you cook food with leeks, it will be softer, greasy, buttery, and have a mild, flavorful taste.
If you bake leeks, the texture will be crunchy, you will feel the melting sensation. To enhance the taste of food, you can add some spices that match the leek like thyme.
What Parts Of Leeks Are Edible?
Can all parts of leeks be eaten or only certain parts can be eaten?
The edible part of the leeks is the white, light green, it looks like a stem. While the part of the leaf that is dark green will feel hard and not pleasant to eat, but you can include it in the food you cook.
Dark green leaves at the ends, usually used in cooking instant noddles or fried rice in Southeast Asia. But you need to cook the lebohi for a long time so that it feels soft and cooked.
Nutritional Value Of Leeks
What about the nutrition, is leeks as rich in nutrients as it tastes rich?
Leeks are vegetables for flavoring dishes, they are not eaten alone but are added to other foods for flavoring. About nutrition, leeks are vegetables that are low in calories.
One serving or 100 grams of raw leeks contains 61 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, 3.9 grams of sugar, 20 mg of sodium, and contains 180 mg of potassium.
Besides leeks are leaves that are rich in vitamins. Among the vitamins that you can find in leeks are vitamins A, K, C, B6, and contain several minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium.
See other interest posts:
- Amazing Benefits of Onions that You Should Know
- The Best Onion Substitute for Cooking
- 14 Amazing Curry Leaves Benefits that Should Included to Your Cooking
- 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING VEGETABLES
- 4 Healthy 5 Perfect Food, Recommended Food for Children
Health Benefits Of Leeks
Are there any health benefits? Of course, these nutrient-dense leaves will provide benefits for the human body when consumed regularly, either alone or in food.
- Leeks are vegetables that contain kaempferol, it is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and also acts as an anti-cancer.
- This green vegetable not only makes a delicious meal, but it can also reduce the risk of stomach and intestinal problems, and reduce the risk of problems with the prostate.
- The benefits of leeks also strengthen bones, preventing bone fragility with age. These are vegetables that contain calcium and vitamin K.
- Leek also contains carotenoid compounds whose benefits are to protect the eyes, and reduce the risk of degeneration.
- Then, there are other benefits of leeks that you need to know. It is a great green vegetable and is useful in weight management. Leeks contain a lot of water and fiber so they give a feeling of fullness for those who eat them. When you add it to your plate, it adds flavor to the dish and fills you up quickly.
How to choose leeks
Not all leeks are suitable for flavoring, not all of them have the same taste.
The freshest and most delicious in consumption are white and light green or the middle. When you choose leeks in the market, make sure there are still parts of the roots. This will extend the shelf life of your leeks. If you get leeks that have been cut and no longer have roots, then ignore them. It won’t last long unless you use it straight away.
If for a light taste, you can choose small leaves, but if you like a strong taste. So, you should choose leeks that are big and thick.
Avoid buying leeks whose ends have dried, this will reduce the taste just like dry green onions. Also avoid buying leeks that have no roots as these won’t last long when stored.
Hard and fresh leeks are the best in every recipe
How To Use Leeks In The Kitchen?
Initially, when I was new to leeks, I only used it in salads. In fact, the benefits and uses of leeks are very broad in cooking recipes. Then I tried to use it not only in salads, but use it as a substitute for green onions.
You should try to use it too, try replacing the green onions with leeks, it will taste good and the taste of the food remains great.
So, how to clean leeks properly?
How To Clean Leeks?
Leeks form in layers and dirt can accumulate on top of each layer or in the axils of each layer of leaf. The cleaning method may be a bit difficult for beginners because there is dirt in each layer of the internodes, especially for large leeks with thick leaves.
If you wash it, only the outside of the leeks will be clean.
So, the best way to clean leeks is to cut them first and then wash them. I usually cut a one-inch circle section. Put it in a sieve and wash it under running water.
After washing it, you can let it dry before then use it for various cooking purposes.
How To Cut Leeks?
Clean it first so that the dirt that sticks doesn’t go deep into
Then cut off the rough or yellowed ends, cut off the roots, remove the roots.
Well, now all that’s left is a white and light green leek. We will use this section in many dishes and recipes.
Cut your leeks now, you can cut them lengthwise, ring-shaped, or half-moon-shaped. Use a Nakiri knife to make your job easier.
Small Leeks rings are great for sauteing and vegetables.
How To Store Leeks?
Buying leeks in bulk will save your shopping budget because the selling price in bulk will be cheaper. But you have to know how to store it so that leeks will last long and can maintain their freshness.
Before storing, shake your leeks to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Shake in stagnant water will facilitate the fall of ash and soil.
Wet a paper towel and wrap the leeks to keep them fresh. You can also use a plastic bag with holes, and then store it in the fridge.
If you store it in the refrigerator, your leeks can last for 10 days. Usually on the seventh day, the tip begins to turn yellow, to extend the shelf life again, you can trim the yellowed tip.
Usually, large leeks will suffer more damage than small leeks.
The ideal temperature for storing leeks is 32 F and 95% to 100% humidity levels. If the storage temperature is warm, the leeks will quickly turn yellow and spoil.
Can You Freeze Leeks?
Maybe you often ask whether leeks can be frozen like green onions which have similarities. Let’s review it!
Leeks have their harvest season between October and Mai, to use them all summer long, you have to preserve them by freezing them.
Leeks can survive and stay fresh if frozen for 10 months, this is good news for those of you who harvest a lot of leeks. But you have to freeze it properly.
- Well, to freeze it properly, you have to do some preparation. It’s not just by putting it in the freezer, but you can make it easy to use whenever you want.
- The first thing is to clean it (you certainly don’t want to get your leeks still dirty when you defrost). Cut off the roots and the tough or dark green tips of the leaves. Then, cut into small rings and then boil. The trick is to keep it in boiling water (not on the stove) for 40 seconds. Then, spontaneously put into cold water (ice water). This will keep your leeks fresh in terms of appearance or taste.
- Then dry using a kitchen towel, use a baking tray to freeze the scallions (put one layer on the tray)
- After two hours on the tray, then transfer the leeks rings into a practical freezer container with a lid.
So, the correct freezing method is to cut it into small rings. I’m not suggesting that you freeze it whole without cutting it, this will also take up a lot of space and you’ll also freeze the part of the leeks that you won’t use later (the dark green tip).
When you want to use it, take it from the freezer, thaw it. How to defrost is very easy for leeks, you just need to put it briefly in cold water at room temperature. It can also be left at room temperature for a few minutes. Remember, you have to use it as soon as it melts.