A Handy Guide to Summer Salad Leaves My Baba 30 July, 2016 Food, Food Products, Health & Fitness Summer’s all about the salads, whether they are peppery, mild or sharp, these crisp leaves are the base of countless summer dinners, picnics, parties and BBQs. So Often we buy a mixed bag of salad leaves, and have no clue which are inside, or which are delivering the various refreshing flavours. With that in mind, we’ve created this excellently handy guide to green. Romaine: Typically described as having a fine, bitter-herb taste, Romaine is perfect for your traditional salads, and the usual suspect in a Caesar salad. It is also a very good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron, and vitamin C, B2, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Little Gem: A beautiful tasting lettuce that can be served fresh, braised or sauteed. But be careful, as it gets increasingly bitter with age, although some like this. It contains around 80% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A which is needed for healthy skin, teeth and bones, and it also helps to promote good vision, especially in low light, and 60% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin K which helps wounds to heal quickly Round/Iceberg Lettuce: A refreshing, crisp yet watery lettuce which is mild in flavour. Often the best hit with the kids and perfect for sandwiches and burgers. It Health benefits are that it is high in fibre, and therefore aids the digestive system, and that it contains phenolic compounds that serve as an antioxidant. Watercress: Often has peppery leaves which tends to be used to accompany eggs in a sandwich. The mustard oil within the leaves gives it a strong unmistakeable flavour, which gets stronger with age. The known benefits of Watercress are that it boosts immunity, prevents cancer and supports our thyroid. Lollo Rosso & Lollo Bionda: Rosso refers to red, and Bionda refers to pale green. Both these leaves contain the same nutritional value, but differ in colour. They can be used to simply enhance the colours of your salad, to make it seem more appetising. They been said to contain the anti-oxident quercetin, linked to the reduction of heart disease! A perfect leaf for a summer salad with a bold, bitter, and nutty taste. Rocket: A very strong peppery, mustard-like taste, that’s often described as sharp and bitter. One for the adults, the kids often find the flavour too harsh. Rocket leaves are a source of protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and also calcium! Lambs Lettuce: Subtle and mild in flavour, similar to iceberg in taste, but more like spinach in texture. Often used similarly in smoothies and sauces. Lambs Lettuce leaves are a source of vitamin C, have 14x as much pro-vitamin A than iceberg lettuce, vitamin B, and as much iron as Spinach. Radicchio: Bitter in taste. Often roasted and grilled to enhance it’s flavour. May also be presented as a fresh leaf to brighten a salad due to its bold colour. Have a great source of calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Swiss Chard: Although they’re unrelated, chard is similar to spinach, but with a stronger, more assertive, bitter flavour. Similar to Radicchio, as it’s usually left uncooked to add colour to a salad. One cup full of Swiss Chard contains approximately 716% of vitamin K needs, 214% of vitamin A, 53% of vitamin C, 22% of iron, 17% of vitamin E. Spinach: A noticeably bitter taste, giving a crisp and sharp edge to your typical salad. When wilted in broths, curries, and sauces, Spinach tends to loose its texture and flavour (easier to get the kids to eat), but non-the-less is an incredible source of iron. Within every 100g of spinach you will receive 21% of your recommended daily iron intake, 5% of your calcium, and vitamins A,B,C,E and K. Escarole: One of the milder salad leaves, with a crunchy green outer layer that leads to a light, pale core. Within a 100g serving Escarole contains vitamins A, C, B, and D, with a wapping 43% of your daily intake for vitamin A! Tatsoi: Also known as ‘Chinese Flat Cabbage’, ‘Spinach Mustard’, and ‘broadbeaked mustard’ , originally grown in Asia. Often described as having a sweet yet nutty flavour. Tatsoi contains large amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids, folic acid, calcium, and potassium.