by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

A Leek


It may seem like this recipe is a bit too simple to deserve official recipe status. Well let me ask you this, have you ever made it before? Of course people don’t generally cook a leek as a single ingredient, however this simple preparation may just be one of the healthiest recipes you could ever make. There are few foods we eat that contain real fiber, long-chain cellulose fiber.  This is the kind of indigestible fiber that moderates cholesterol, keeps the digestive system moving, helps abate cancer, and increases beneficial gut flora by acting as a prebiotic. In a word it is the ‘opposite’ of a processed starch. Eating a leek rather than a doughnut may just be the most primal choice you can make in modern times. Cellulose fiber is simply long chains of fiber that cannot be broken down by the body and therefore serve all these other crucial functions. When this cellulose fiber makes it into the large intestine it is consumed by the friendly bacteria living there and their numbers increase. The more cellulose fiber you eat the more beneficial bacteria you have residing in your stomach. If you have ever heard of a prebiotic that is exactly what this is, food for your gut flora. It is important to note that processed starches are basically a prebiotic for the unfriendly gut invaders such as candida and E. coli.  It really is this simple – this inverse relationship between starch, bad fungus and bad bacteria, and between fiber and good bacteria exists in us all. Those that get fed the most take over. Probiotics may or may or may not survive their journey through the stomach. The great thing about a prebiotic like this is that it bypasses this problem altogether.

Clarified (ghee) butter is a wonderful ingredient. It serves as a stable fat for higher heats and contains the gut healing compound, butyric acid. There are other sources of long-chain fiber such as broccoli and asparagus stems, Jerusalem artichoke, etc, but I like this recipe because it is easy to make as well as enjoyable.

A leek

Ghee butter


For this recipe it is important to use the whole leek from tip to tail. The concentration of fiber increases dramatically moving from the white to green section. One whole large leek is enough as a side for a family of four. If making for yourself, slice the leek lengthwise and use the 2nd half for another day.

To prepare the leek slice it lengthwise and then again into quarters. Fan green end of leek under cold running water like a deck of cards. Next chop along it into smaller pieces.

For a whole leek, add one heaping Tbsp of ghee to a large skillet. For a half leek, add one heaping tsp of ghee. More is fine. Turn heat to med/high.  When butter melts add leek and shake pan. Sprinkle a little salt over leek and continue to cook.

When first sign of brown is visible, turn heat down to low and cook a few minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Now feed your microbiome…….and yourself of course.




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