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LETTUCE

QUESTION:
My lady friend insists on giving me the leaves of Lettuce,and she eats the white course part. Is this of any real nutritional value?
Thanks, Jon


ANSWER:
Hello Jon,
Most dark greens (including lettuce) are good sources of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, folate, and dietary fiber. The rule of thumb is, usually, the darker the greens, the more nutritious the leaf.

Chef James, FoodReference.com
 

1 medium head = 1 1/2 pounds
2 cups shredded = 5 oz

Lettuce and potatoes are the two most popular fresh vegetables in the U.S.

Lettuce leaves should be torn by hand; cutting with a knife will turn the edges brown faster. If you must cut lettuce, be sure to use a stainless steel knife.

The outer, greener leaves of lettuce contains more vitamins and minerals then the paler inner leaves.

Lettuce is a vegetable that is pretty much immune to any form of preservation. You can't freeze it, can it, dry it, or pickle it.

SELECTION AND STORAGE
     Lettuce is a delicate vegetable and great care should be taken when selecting and storing. Most lettuce is showcased on ice or in refrigeration. When selecting your leaves, be sure that they are fresh and crisp, with no signs of wilting, slim, or dark spots or edges. Remember when selecting your lettuce that the darker outer leaves are the most nutritious.

     Lettuce tends to keep well in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Iceberg lettuce keeps the best, lasting around two weeks, while Romaine, ten days, and butterheads types and endives lasts approximately four days. The very delicate greens don’t last very long, so it’s best to buy only as much as you need at one time and use immediately.

     Salad greens should not be stored near fruits that produce ethylene gases (like apples) as this will increase brown spots on the lettuce leaves and increase spoilage. Greens that are bought in bunches should be checked for insects. Those leaves that have roots should be placed in a glass of water with a bag over the leaves and then placed in the refrigerator.

PREPARATION
     Generally lettuce is eaten raw, so consider removing any browned, slimy, or wilted leaves. For all lettuce types, you should thoroughly wash and ‘dry’ the leaves to remove any dirt or lingering insects. If you eat lettuce often, it’s wise to invest in a salad spinner. Simply rinse the leaves and place in the spinner to remove the excess water.

     In addition to their most common use in salads, you can also braise, steam, sauté and even grill certain lettuce varieties to create a wonderful and different taste treat. Try halving a head of radicchio or romaine lengthwise, and brush on some extra virgin olive oil, and grill until they soften and just begin to brown-absolutely delicious.
CDC.gov - 5 a Day


 

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