What cabbage cousin looks like a turnip?

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By: Leanne Ely

 

What vegetable looks like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip but tastes like a broccoli stalk? Kohlrabi, of course! Kohlrabi is actually German for “cabbage turnip”, or so I’ve been told.

Kohlrabi is readily available right now, and this interesting-looking vegetable is very healthy. An excellent source of fiber and Vitamin C, a half cup serving of this veggie gives you 70% of the Vitamin C you’ll require for the day!

Kohlrabi also contains special phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. These compounds protect against certain types of cancer.

Though it’s both delicious and healthy, kohlrabi is unfamiliar to many home cooks here in North America.

Here’s what you need to know about buying and eating this veggie:

• The stem of the kohlrabi pant is shaped like a globe—that’s the part that you’ll most likely eat, though you can toss the leaves into a salad.

• You can find purple kohlrabi or light green kohlrabi—of the two varieties, the green one is sweeter while the purple has a bit of a spicy kick to it.

• Kohlrabi delivers different health benefits when cooked and raw, so I recommend eating it both ways! Try raw kohlrabi grated into a salad or served braised or roasted as a side dish.

• Kohlrabi tastes best when it’s small and young. As it gets older, kohlrabi gets tough and woody and takes on a bitter taste. Young kohlrabi have a juicy and crisp texture, almost like an apple.

Some people think that kohlrabi tastes like turnip, others say it tastes like broccoli. What do you think?

I’m going to put out a call to our Summer 30 Day Paleo Challenge group to see who can give me the best new recipe for kohlrabi because I have a ton of this veggie in my CSA boxes right now. I’d love it if you joined us! Check out the details here!

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0 Responses

  1. I love Kohlrabi!! Thank you for all the interesting facts on this unique, little known vegetable. When I was young I used to go to our backyard garden and pick and eat kohlrabi like an apple — of course, you have to peel it first, the skin is thick and tough. Delish!

  2. Kohlrabi can be grown twice a year in north Florida. I enjoy it raw and cooked with a cream sauce. Raw, all you need is to peel and slice into French fry pieces and eat as you watch “Honey Boo Boo”. For cooked, prepare the same way and place in a pot covered with water and a small amount of salt. They are best if not cooked into a mushy state. Drain using a strainer, reserving the liquid. In the same pot, add about 1-2 tablespoons of butter, when melted, add a tablespoon of flour. Stir until incorporated with the butter, then add some of the reserved juice making a nice (not too thin) sauce. Add a little half and half for a richer taste. Season with some ground nutmeg doing taste tests for how much to use. In a nice serving bowl containing the cooked kohlrabi, pour over with the prepared sauce. This goes great with a nice schnitzel!

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