Kohlrabi

20180723_131032 kohlrabi cropped

Nutrition Information

Four ounces of kohlrabi contains 94% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, and is a great source of potassium, copper, manganese, and several B Vitamins [1].  Eating foods that are high in potassium has been shown to reduce blood pressure [2]. Kohlrabi is low in sugar and calories, and contains  four grams of fiber in a four ounce serving, or 16% of your recommended daily intake of fiber.

Also, Kohlrabi is an excellent source of antioxidant compounds called phenols that may help to reduce inflammation (swelling), and may also help regulate blood sugar, preventing or delaying diabetes [3]. Kohlrabi also contains compounds called glucosinolates that show in some studies to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer [4].

Fun Facts

Kohlrabi is related to cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It’s name is German, and roughly translates to ‘turnip cabbage’. Kohlrabi was first cultivated in Germany in the 1500s, but it is now grown all over the world [5].

Kohlrabi may look like a root, but it is actually the enlarged stem of the plant.

Kohlrabi (pronounced coal-ra-bee) may look a little strange, but it is delicious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. Kohlrabi comes in both green and purple varieties, as well as other, less common types. Their taste is nearly identical, and all the recipes below would work well with green or purple kohlrabi. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, and both the bulb and the greens are edible.

purple kohlrabi cross section

Cross-section of a purple Kohlrabi, showing the color inside  –  image credit – http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Purple_Kohlrabi_1462.php

 

Storage Tips

  • Choose a kohlrabi that is hard, with few brown spots, and not split open
  • If leaves are attached, look for leaves without brown spots or yellowing
  • Leaves should be removed and stored in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel, and should be good for three to five days
  • The kohlrabi bulb can be stored loose, or in a paper bag, in the refrigerator for two to three weeks
  • Do not peel the kohlrabi bulb until just before preparation

Recipes

When you prepare a kohlrabi, you may want to remove the fibrous skin from the bulb, especially with larger (more than 3″ in diameter) bulbs, since these bulbs are more mature and will have thicker skin. The bulb will be white to yellow inside and has a flavor similar to a broccoli stem. It is crunchy when raw, and great served in slaws, salads, or dipped in hummus. It also makes delicious fries and has wonderful flavor when roasted. Kohlrabi greens can be eaten in the same way as kale or swiss chard, either raw or cooked.

Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw

Quick Pickled Kohlrabi

Baked Kohlrabi Fries

References

[1] Happy Forks.com. https://happyforks.com/food/kohlrabi/534?i=4&j=22. Published 2018. Accessed July 23, 2018.

[2] Binia A, Jaeger J, Hu Y, Singh A, Zimmermann D. Daily potassium intake and sodium-to-potassium ratio in the reduction of blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Hypertens. 2015;33(8):1509-1520. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000000611

[3] Jung HA, Karki S, Ehom NY, Yoon MH, Kim EJ, Choi JS. Anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects of green and red kohlrabi cultivars (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes). Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2014;19(4):281-290. doi:10.3746/pnf.2014.19.4.281

[4] Abdull Razis AF, Noor NM. Cruciferous Vegetables: Dietary Phytochemicals for Cancer Prevention. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(3):1565-1570. doi:10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.3.1565

[5] Banks D, Wolford R. Vegetable Dictionary – Kohlrabi. University of Illinois Extension. http://extension.illinois.edu/firstgarden/planning/dictionary/veggies/kohlrabi.cfm. Published 2018. Accessed July 23, 2018.

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