Featured Vegetable: Garlic, Green Onions and Leeks
Many of us are familiar with garlic, but did you know it is part of the onion family? Garlic, green onions (also known as scallions) and leeks are all part of the Allium family of vegetables but each with their own delicious aroma and taste. Green onions and leeks both have bulbous ends with roots and long stalks that grow deeper green towards the top. Leeks tend to be larger than green onions and have a mild flavor. Garlic can be found in bulbs of varying sizes made up of individual cloves that are covered in a white papery skin.
California produces more garlic than any other state in America and we consume more than 2 pounds of it per person per year!1 Garlic has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which link it to many health benefits. Some research suggests eating garlic may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, slow hardening of arteries and even reduce risk for certain types of cancer.2 Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked and the cloves crushed, chopped, dried or made into powder. Just a little bit of garlic roasted or sautéed in olive oil can spice up just about any dish and all for only 5 calories per clove!
Green onions are actually immature onions. Both green onions and leeks have a mild flavor compared to other varieties of onions but leeks are a bit sweeter. Both are essentially fat and cholesterol free but leeks are more nutrient dense. A single leek is about 50 calories and a good source of vitamins A, C and folate. Both leeks and scallions can be added to soups, stews, or other dishes to enhance, without overpowering, other flavors.
On a culinary note, leeks are more likely than scallions to stand alone as a sautéed or roasted side dish. Be careful to not overcook leeks or they will become slimy. In contrast, scallions are more likely to be added as aromatic garnish to dishes frequently added towards the end of the meal preparation.
Garlic and other Allium vegetables can be found in numerous Campbell products including some Prego® Italian sauces, Campbell's® soups and Pace® salsas.
Experiment with these delicious recipes from Campbell's Kitchen® and enjoy the delicious and nutritious benefits of the Allium family of vegetables!
- Agricultural Issues Center University of California Commodity Profile: Garlic.
Accessed December 4, 2012.
- Medline Plus, Garlic.
Accessed May 29, 2012.