What’s in season? Kohlrabi in January


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Kohlrabi – not be confused with Calamari – is a vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. Another name for cabbage family is brassica. It includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, Brussels sprouts and, yes, you guessed it right, cabbage. Kohlrabi also goes by the name German turnip and it’s native to Europe. It’s a cool season vegetable and prefers a tempered climate. Too much sun exposure will make it hard and woody.

Here are some simple facts about this vegetable. First of all, kohlrabi is not a root vegetable, its round-shaped bulb is a modified stem. Second, the skin can be green or purplish color but the flesh is white. Third, the leaves are very similar to kale or collard greens and can also be eaten. And finally, its deliciously crunchy flesh has a radish-like crisp texture and sweet and refreshing cucumber-like taste.

Kohlrabi has a generous combination of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. It is especially abundant in vitamin C, B6 vitamin and copper. It is low on glycemic index and glycemic load so compatible with low-carb eating and excellent for people with blood sugar regulation issues. Kohlrabi leaves are also very nutritious greens rich in carotenes, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.

Being a cabbage family member the vegetable shares many of the same health benefits. These vegetables support detoxification pathways in the body and are incredible cancer fighters. In fact, these vegetables have been studied and showed very promising results for:

  • cancer prevention
  • inactivation of carcinogens
  • inhibition of cancer formation
  • suppression of cancer cell growth
  • DNA repair

What we can do with Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is delicious raw. Peel the fibrous the skin off, slice thinly or grate it and add it to salads and slaws. Or you can serve it as crudité with a vegetable dip.

It can be steamed, braised, stir-fried, baked, or cooked in soups.

You can ferment or pickle Kohlrabi as well. Here is the recipe.

When buying it, choose a fairly small bulb, slightly bigger than a tennis ball. It should be firm, without cracks on the skin and, preferably, with fresh leaves.