Monday, April 26, 2010

Crispy Salty and/or Sweet Leeks

It was two months ago that I read a study abstracted here about the impact raw produce can have to slow down or stop the growth of many cancer cell lines in the lab. Needless to say I read this article more than once and made a list of the foods that we should be including in our diet. There were 7 raw vegetables that had chemopreventive properties against all the cancer cell lines they were tested against.

These foods were:

Brussels sprouts
curly cabbage (which I interpret as savoy)
green onion

Since whole raw food can’t hurt us I have been trying to incorporate these foods into our diet whenever and wherever I can.

Last week I decided to make some crispy raw leeks to use to top our food. I wanted to make two different flavors, one salty and one slightly sweet. I used the same method I posted about here with my crispy onions. I sliced two leeks into very thin rings. Placed the leek rings in a colander and put that in a larger bowl and filled it with water. I used my fingers to separate the slices into individual rings. By swishing the leeks in the water the sand will dislodge and you will have clean leeks. I do rinse the leeks once more just to be certain. There is nothing worse than gritty food.

Next I drained the leeks well and placed them on a towel lined sheet pan to dry. I combined half the dry leeks with a squirt of liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce) and tossed them to coat. Place the coated leeks on a teflex sheet in a single layer in your dehydrator and set the temperature to 105 degrees. In the same bowl add the other half of the leeks but add some good balsamic vinegar and toss the leeks to coat. Place them on a separate teflex sheet. Dehydrate the leeks until they are the texture you like. I checked mine in 8 hours and they were done. The exact time they will take will depend on how thick you sliced the leeks. That is all there to it. You will have crispy salty and sweet leeks to use on sandwiches or salads. They are also good to top cooked dishes with, particularly soup.

The picture with this post shows the salt leeks on top of a quick carrot and roasted yellow pepper soup we had for dinner one night last week.


  1. Mmmmm, I love that those foods on the list are some of my favorites! And now you're starting to make me really want a dehydrator (and my Vitamix hasn't even arrived yet! teehee!). Thanks for the yummy post, Alicia!


  2. LJ,

    You are very fortunate. I had to "learn" to love some of those foods. But I keep working at. Kale and I still have a love/hate relationship. ;-)

    Yay, you ordered the Vitamix. I can't wait to see what you make when it arrives. The cookbook is very good that comes with it. I spent days reading each recipe, some more than once.

    I hope you aren't having too much bad weather in Miami today.


  3. This sounds good; I love leeks.

  4. Rose,

    We love leeks too but they are a little sharp when raw. But when you dehydrate them the flavor mellows. I also like the crispy texture on soft food like soup or salads. This is definitely something that I am going to be doing regularly so we always have them on hand. I think of this as healthy "fried onions", which I used to top many things with in my unhealthy days.


  5. I bet those leeks are so tasty. YUM. And you already know I eat most of the items on that list, some daily. Just call me Pop-eye!

  6. Heather,

    The leeks add great texture and nice flavor. I try to eat a few of these everyday. Somedays I am more successful than others.


  7. This looks scrumptious!!!!
    I have never had a leek believe it or not!

  8. Brandi,

    Leeks have a mild onion flavor that I think you will like. I use them in place of onions in soups and cooking. In the past I would make what I called "frizzled leeks" (which were fried and crispy) and would use those to garnish dishes and add textural variation. This is my healthy verion of that unhealthy garnish.


  9. You've outdone yourself here! I will be dehydrating some leeks very soon.

  10. Sarah,

    You are too sweet, but thank you! I am happy to hear you like the idea.


  11. Oh, yes, I hate gritty food, too! One thing about raw, I just wish it didn't take so long to prepare. The benefits are wonderful, as you well know, but you really have to plan to prepare the food. As usual, your dish looks delicious.

  12. Blessed mama,

    I agree that raw food seems to take a long time. Since the weather is warming you can expect to see me do much more raw food soon. However, my goal is to make it as quickly and easily as possible. We will see how easy that is. ;-) But that is the plan now.



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