Now Introducing: Kohlrabi

Now Introducing: Kohlrabi
Emily Whitmore, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Pictures from Emily Whitemore, and http://www.reneesgarden.com/

Kohlrabi. What is that? Some sort of spice? A car? Wrong, it’s a vegetable! For those of you who have never heard of kohlrabi before, it’s a native to Germany and means “cabbage turnip.” As a member of the Brassica family, kohlrabi is a cabbage that looks like a root vegetable but actually grows above ground. There are purple, white, and light green varieties, all with white flesh. It is a cool-weather crop, so now is the best time to pick up fresh kohlrabi from the winter farmers’ markets!

I know you’re probably wondering what kohlrabi even tastes like. Typically the bulbs are the part that is eaten, but the stem and leaves are also edible. Kohlrabi bulbs are described as a mildly sweeter version of broccoli stems while the leaves have a similar taste profile to kale or collards. When raw, kohlrabi has a pleasantly crisp texture. For those who have never cooked with kohlrabi, the good news is that kohlrabi is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. Enjoy your kohlrabi roasted, pickled, steamed, or even slaw-style!

Want to hear the best part? Not only can kohlrabi be prepared just about any way you would like, but is also a guilt free food as it comes along with an abundance of nutrients and health benefits! It is also naturally low in calories and has no fat or cholesterol. Here are a few of the many benefits:

  • Very rich in Vitamin C – eat kohlrabi to help prevent those pesky winter colds!
  • Health promoting phytochemicals that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 which is important for digestive, immune, and cardiovascular function
  • Fiber which is beneficial in digestive health and lowering cholesterol levels
  • Potassium which plays a role in maintaining blood pressure and bone and muscle maintenance

Delicious AND healthy, you can’t go wrong with kohlrabi! So next time you’re snowed in (and knowing New Hampshire it won’t be long) take a break from shoveling and treat yourself to a nice warm bowl of creamy kohlrabi soup. See the recipe to this tasty dish below. Enjoy!

Creamy Kohlrabi Soup.
kohlrabisoup
Picture and Recipe from
http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/soups/r/kohlrabisoup.htm

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter in a large pan with a lid. Add onions and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook 2 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, milk and bay leaf to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Let cool a few minutes and remove bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender or conventional blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. You may want to strain the soup through a fine sieve if the kohlrabi is especially fibrous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls with hearty bread of choice.

Sources:

http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/eating-kohlrabi-good-for-you.php

http://www.thekitchn.com/kohlrabi-is-weird-heres-what-you-can-do-with-it-ingredient-spotlight-189813

http://www.gardenguides.com/130185-history-kohlrabi.html

http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/kohlrabi.html

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