About Leeks

Monash University recommends ½ cup (28 g) chopped leaves (green parts only) as a serving.

Leek greens

Allium ampeloprasum. OK so here’s the deal with these vegetables from the onion family that look like giant scallions. Leek bulbs are high FODMAP. Any part of the white section is high FODMAP, but, and this is a HUGE but, the green parts – which MONASH calls leaves – are low-FODMAP. And this is important because common white and yellow onions are not allowed on our low-FODMAP diet and yet, if you are like us, you want onion-y flavor. That’s where the green parts of the leek come in.

We chop them and use them like onions! True, they are milder than a traditional onion, but they come into constant use in our recipes. We sauté them as a base for soups, stews and anywhere we would normally use an onion. So get familiar with leeks! It is true that the darker green parts that are allowed on the low-FODMAP diet are rather tough; we do not care for them raw. But sliced thinly, they sauté up very nicely

leeks with and without greens copy

How to Buy

Sometimes we see leeks in supermarkets with hardly any of the green leaves attached (see image above). This is not going to work for us FODMAPers. Sometimes they are touted as “trimmed” leeks and for most buyers this would be a boon, as they won’t be paying extra for the greens, which are normally NOT used (these in the foreground of the image above). Find a source where the green parts are intact (like the leeks in the background of the image). Choose firm stalks. They should look fresh, with no wrinkling, and be flexible, indicating moistness.

How to Store

Store in the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels for up to 5 days or even more, depending on how fresh they were when purchased.

How to Prep & Use

Leek greens cutting

Use our image above to help you ascertain which parts are FODMAP edible.

Sometimes there are some very firm outer leaves that we discard. Once you have separated the green parts, they need to be washed thoroughly. Leeks often come with a bit (or a lot) of sand embedded in-between the tight and numerous layers. You can either chop and then wash and dry, or separate the layers carefully, wash well, dry, then chop.

leeks cutaway of greens

What To Do With The White Ends

Store them in a zip lock freezer bag until you have a good amount and find a friend or soup kitchen – or a neighbor through the Buy Nothing Project site- who does not have IBS – and offer them to them for soup making. You could even make a gift of them with a bag of potatoes!

Nothing Better Than Home Grown

And if you are lucky enough to be able to plant them, like we do at The Farm, you will never be without! Here is the 2016 harvest of leeks tucked in their bed in the foreground. And then the ends you don’t eat can go into the compost!

Leeks growing at Roja Home Farm.