Published on June 7th, 2011 | by Rachel Fox, RD3
Romaine Lettuce: In Season Now
Summer weather calls for cool, fresh meals. Since romaine lettuce is in season from the start of spring well into the late summer months, each meal has potential to contain that crispy cool satisfaction.
What’s in it for you?
Like all other leafy greens, romaine is extremely low calorie. For every two cups of chopped raw romaine, there are only about 15 calories. The four most potent vitamins found in romaine lettuce are vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. Vitamin K is involved with blood clotting; romaine contains well over 100% of a healthy adults daily needs. Vitamin A contributes to healthy eyes, skin and other body membranes; romaine has about 60% of the daily needs of an adult. Vitamin C is a healthy antioxidant that helps with immune function. Folate is important for women of child bearing age to help prevent fetal neural tube defects.
Romaine does not have very much fiber for a leafy green, only 1 g fiber per 1 cup chopped lettuce. Regardless of it’s low fiber content, romaine is still part of the “dark green leafy” vegetable group. According to the USDA, Americans should aim for at least three servings per week. The more the better!
Ways to Enjoy Romaine
Romaine lettuce is not just a salad base. Try these new ways to enjoy this healthy leafy green.
- Blend it in a green smoothie. I feel the perfect smoothie has 1 cup of greens to 1 cup of fresh fruit to 1/2 cup fluid (water, green tea, juice)
- Create lettuce wraps. Romaine leaves are perfect for this Asian dish.
- Make an un-wich. Instead of using bread or pita for your sandwich, wrap everything in thick crispy leaves of romaine.
- Add it to stir fry dishes along with other leafy greens like bok choy and spinach.
- Chop and add to any salad and sandwich for added fresh green crunch and vitamin K!
My favorite romaine dish is the traditional Caesar salad. It is plain and simple, yet refreshing and super tasty. What is your favorite way to enjoy romaine?
Image credit to creative commons user: Rachael & Zane Ross