Little Gem lettuce
, or Sucrine, is a small lettuce often described as 'a combination of Butter and Romaine'. It is crisp, like Romaine, and sweet, like Butter, but the texture and the flavor are still its own. Butter is similarly substantial, but uniformly soft. Butter has a slightly mineral taste with hints of apple, and can have a forward sweetness, while Little Gem tends toward a nutty flavor - walnut in particular and a sweetness that is more reserved.Little Gem works well in mixed salads, and in sandwiches.
The size and texture of the leaf particularly suit it to the open faced sandwich. A classic use for this lettuce is cut it in half lengthwise and serve each half, dressed, as a salad. With care, a tight head of Little Gem can be cut into six or eight 'fingers', which would be suitable for dipping; a bowl of separated leaves could also be put out for this purpose: the ruffled texture will pick up any dip or dressing.
The use of lettuce in cooked dishes is often overlooked in the U.S., but Little Gem has a role here too. You might take a head and slice it crosswise at about quarter inch intervals, and add this to a stirr-fry just as it's taken off the heat or float it on a soup at serving, where it's cool crispness will serve as an accent.
It could be similarly added to a dish of mixed steamed root vegetables, or to a warm potato salad
(steamed or boiled potatoes cut in chunks and given a rudimentary dressing, along with olives, chopped pepper, or whatever strikes the fancy).
Health Benefits of lettuce:
1. Low Calorie Content and Almost Zero Fat.
Lettuce has only 12 calories for one shredded cup. This is why it is so good for weight loss.
2. Helps Weight Loss
Lettuce contains fiber and cellulose. Besides filling you up, fiber improves your digestion. Improving your digestion may not sound like a good thing for losing weight, but it is actually essential for long term weight control.
Fiber also helps remove bile salts from the body. When the body replaces these salts it breaks down cholesterol to do so. This is why lettuce is also good for your heart.
3. Heart Healthy
Lettuce’s vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. This prevents the build up of plaque.
4. Omega-3 Fatty acids.
Romaine lettuce has a two to one ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. That’s a great ratio.
5. Complete Protein
Romaine lettuce’s calories are 20 percent protein. Like all whole foods, much of this protein is complete, but the amount can be increased by combining with balancing proteins.
6. Helps with Insomnia
The white fluid that you see when you break or cut lettuce leaves is called lactucarium.
This has relaxing and sleep inducing properties similar to opium but without the strong side effects. Simply eat a few leaves or drink some lettuce juice.
7. Lettuce is Alkaline Forming
The minerals in lettuce help remove toxins and keep your acid/alkaline balance in order. Once you are balanced on this level there are a host of benefits including greater energy, clearer thinking, deep restful sleep, and youthful skin.
8. Low Glycemic Index
Lettuce has an average glycemic index of 15, but because it has so few calories, its glycemic load is considered zero. Foods with low glycemic indexes are great for anyone watching their blood sugars for medical reasons, or for weight management.
Of course, lettuce has no refined or white sugars and the host of problems that come with them.
9. Whole Life Food
Lettuce is almost always eaten raw, providing us with many micronutrients not found in cooked or processed food. Eating raw food also adds vital energies not recognized by nutritional science.
In fact, lettuce is one of the few foods which can be found organic and prewashed already in bins for you to eat immediately.
10. Lettuce Tastes Great.
Even though lettuce is very low in calories, many varieties still have a sweet taste.
Read more about Little Gem lettuce
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