Red Batavia lettuce is a magnificent treat and we were lucky to have some in our organic vegetable box this week. The shape of the leaves really lends itself to being used as a wrap which you can fill with all your favourite, meats, beans, pulses and vegetables. If you can’t get Batavia lettuce, use romaine or green lettuce instead. My son normally hates me taking photos of him but in this case, he “kindly” allowed me to photograph his hand…yes his hand only :), holding the wrap filled with all the veg he likes. I made our favourite Sneaky 7 Veg Meatballs and cut our plump, deep pink radishes and cucumbers and carrots into matchsticks to add some crunch to the wrap. This is such a great way to get your kids excited about trying lettuce and other vegetables and given they can assemble the whole thing themselves it becomes lots of fun and a really stress-free meal. It can be a little messy but it’s hands down one of my kids’ favourite way of eating lettuce!
LETTUCE is an excellent source of fibre and just a 100g provides nearly 250% of your daily allowance of vitamin A which is super important for the health of the lining of the gut and really important for good eyesight. Lettuce is also a very good source of vitamin K, crucial for bone health and for preventing neuronal damage. Lettuce is better known for its folate content and vitamin C both important in the detoxification process, as well as in supporting the immune system and preventing oxidative damage. Lettuce contains healthy amounts of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are very much essential for body metabolism. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure and is very important for the nervous system to function well. Manganese is as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase and copper is required in the production of red blood cells and of course, iron is essential for red blood cell formation. Lettuce is surprisingly rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and riboflavin. Red Batavia lettuce has the added bonus of containing lots of anthocyanins which is a polyphenol and a great scavenger of free radicals (free radicals damage cells). RADISHES are members of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard and cabbage. The root of the radish is related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower and horseradish, to name a few. It is a superb blood cleanser and a great source of vitamin C to support the immune system. It’s also a wonderful source of fibre to help our gut bugs stay happy and strong. With each mouthful, we also get a good amount of potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and manganese. We know that having a good range and variety of gut bugs is key to fabulous health and each food that we eat, promotes the production of a unique type of gut bug. So munch away!