Monday, August 3, 2009

Off The Beaten Path - Kohlrabi

It's always available in most grocery stores year round. Yet, ask anyone if they eat Kohlrabi and chances are you'll get a strange look and a 'No'. I worked in a produce department of a major grocery chain in my youth and I must confess, I may have put these little gems on the counter but never once held any curiosity as to what they might taste like. I assumed, as with so many other products in that department, it was food for 'foreigners' and probably was crap!

So, last week, I'm in my local grocery store and Kohlrabi catches my eye. It's not very expensive so I decide to give it a try and buy a bunch. After I get home I jump on the computer and do a little research. I'm assuming that there's going to be some complicated cooking technique to make this stuff taste good. How wrong I was. Apprently, Kohlrabi is enjoyed raw! I soon found out that this was right. I cut up one of the bulbs and added it to a salad and it was delicious.

Tasting like Broccoli stems but with the texture of say, raw new potatoes, it certainly was a pleasant surprise and I became an instant fan. I have yet to try the greens, but they are edible too - in the way that beet greens or swiss chard are.

It can be cooked as well. In fact, the larger the bulb, the better off you are cooking it because it gets tougher with size. Check out this site for some great Kohrabi recipes.

Here are some fast facts about Kohlrabi:

  • also know as German Turnip

  • meaning in German: Kohl=cabbage, rabi=turnip

  • it is of the cabbage family

  • 1 cup raw contains 140% of RDA of vitamin C!

  • very low in calories at 36 per 1 cup

  • minor source of protein with 2g in 1 cup

  • also a significant source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, copper and manganese

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