Discover The Perks Of Lettuce Wraps

Sunrise Senior Living  |  February 17, 2015
Discover The Perks Of Lettuce Wraps
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Who doesn't love a fresh burrito or sandwich wrap? Not only are these foods delicious, but they're also portable, versatile and easy to store. These meals are mostly made with tortillas, but there's a new food trend that's slowly becoming popular at many restaurants. Here are a few of the perks of lettuce wraps and some tips to try this trend at home.

Cutting down on calories
Seniors who are trying to lose weight and improve their health know how important it is to regulate daily caloric intake. One of the most prominent benefits of using lettuce wraps instead of traditional tortillas or bread is that the produce has substantially fewer calories. The Houston Chronicle explained that a standard hamburger bun contains more than 50 grams of carbohydrates and around 200 calories. If you replace the bread with lettuce, you'll be getting around 3 grams of carbs and less than 10 calories, as well as a number of beneficial nutrients, like vitamins A and C.

More flavor varieties
Sometimes bread can get a little bland, especially if you have the same sandwich multiple times each week. Another notable benefit of replacing bread with a lettuce wrap is that you can switch up the produce variety for a change in flavor and texture. What's Cooking America noted that iceberg lettuce is most commonly used as a wrap, but you can also experiment with romaine, red leaf, radicchio, spinach or escarole lettuce for a unique twist on your favorite lunch.

The key to perfect lettuce
When picking produce to wrap with, you'll want to look for large, pliable leaves. This will allow you to swaddle your ingredients without worrying about spilling. It's also important that you dry off the leaves before you use them, as this will prevent your ingredients from becoming mushy.

Vegan collard green wraps
Now that you know the benefits of this great new trend, you're ready to try it out for yourself. Use this recipe for vegan collard green wraps for a heart-healthy lunch with your friends at the retirement community.

Ingredients

  • 4 large collard green leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 oz. alfalfa sprouts

Directions
First you'll need to prepare the collard greens. Wash the leaves, then cut off the excess stems. Place the leaves in a bath of warm water with lemon juice and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Dry the greens off, then use a sharp knife to slice down the middle of the stem. This will allow the leaves to bend more easily.

In a blender, combine pecans, tamari, cumin and olive oil. Pulse the mixture until well-combined. To put the wrap together, layer the pecan mixture, pepper, avocado, carrot and sprouts in the center of each leaf. Fold the leaf over at the top and bottom, then wrap up the sides. You can slice the wrap in half to serve, if desired.