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Kohlrabi? What is that?

kohlrabi

As I excitedly looked at my vegetable share to see what veggies were in my community garden box, I noticed lettuce leaves, radishes, beets, and among other wonderful vegetables, two kohlrabi. Hmm, I know what this is, I thought to myself, but I have to admit that I have not cooked with it that often. I sought out information about this tuberous vegetable and found some interesting facts.

Kohlrabi is also known as the German turnip or the turnip cabbage and it is a commonly eaten vegetable in Germany and other German speaking countries. It is also enjoyed in other countries, such as India.

If you have ever wondered what kohlrabi tastes likes, it is similar to the taste of a broccoli stem, but sweeter and milder. It is crunchy, crisp and a bit juicy. Kohlrabi can be pale green, white or purple. It is grown in Wisconsin and its peak harvest occurs in late June, July and again in September and October.

There are many ways to enjoy kohlrabi. It could be eaten raw and added to salads or slaws. It can be grated and mixed with eggs and other vegetables to make a frittata. Kohlrabi leaves can also be eaten much like collard greens. Both tuber and leaves can be added to either broth-based or cream-based soups. It can be steamed and mashed with mashed potatoes. Kohlrabi can also be roasted; the outside might caramelize a little bit and its flavor will sweeten and mellow.

In addition to being versatile, this interesting vegetable contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. It, like many other vegetables, also contains antioxidants, as well as vitamin A, carotene and B-complex vitamins. It contains copper, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorous, especially in the stem. The leaves contain vitamins A and K, minerals and B vitamins.

The kohlrabi at my house will soon be shredded and made into frittatas along with the zucchini we received in our vegetable share. Served over a bed of greens with vinaigrette, I can’t wait to taste this delicious—and often misunderstood vegetable. After learning about the benefits and many ways to enjoy kohlrabi, will you give it a try?

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