Interesting Facts and History:
- Lettuce is part of the daisy and thistle family!
- Lettuce was served on the tables of the Persian kings – 6th century B.C
- The leaf was revered by the Greeks and Romans for basic food and medicine (sleep induction).
- Emperor Caesar Augustus built a statue praising lettuce as he believed eating it had cured him of an illness!
- The Chinese consider lettuce good luck and eat it on special occasions.
- Lettuce was introduced to North America by none other than Christopher Columbus.
- Wild lettuce is common around the globe.
Types of Lettuce:
1. Romaine – This is your classic Greek salad. Sweet and crunchy.
2. Crisphead – Iceberg. White on the inside. Crisp texture and mild taste.
3. Butterhead – Boston and Bibb. Large green leaves that are soft and sweet.
4. Red and Green Leaf – Delicate taste and leaves.
Arugula, watercress, and mizuna are NOT classified as lettuce, but are often mixed with lettuce in salads. They have similar nutritional benefits.
My personal favorite lettuce is romaine. I love the taste and nutrition, but it is also much less likely to spoil than some of the others. I always have many bags of organic romaine heads in my fridge. I also keep a tub of organic field green or spring mix, but much less since it easily spoils.
Unless you buy organic, lettuce can contain a lot of toxins and pesticides. This is because:
- It has a high surface to weight ratio.
- Bugs and microorganisms love those tender lettuce leaves just as much as you.
Therefore: Lettuce is on the list of Dirty Dozen – those foods you SHOULD buy organic. Discover the other 11 foods here: 12 Foods You Must Eat Organic.
Luckily organic lettuce is becoming more and more available.
Perfect Vegetable Juice: Juicing is the perfect food for those with poor digestion and significant health challenges.
Green Raspberry Smoothie/Pudding: Doubles as a healthy smoothie or a tasty dessert.
Green Nori Salad: Enjoy the benefits of lettuce plus the nutritional punch from sea vegetables.
Alkalizing Mixed Green Salad: This is your basic wonderful salad with lots of tastes and textures.