Kohlrabi

Food
Kohlrabi

Seasons pass but there is always a new crucifer to discover! In March, kohlrabi makes his entrance. Little known among younger generations, the kohlrabi returns in market stalls including through baskets of vegetables like AMAP (Association for the Maintenance of Family Farming), which bring up to date forgotten or unloved vegetables. The kohlrabi looks like a large turnip with stems and leaves. This vegetable has long been associated with periods of deprivation of the last world war. This is probably why it has been so long neglected in France when it is consumed daily in many other countries of the world. The kohlrabi (Brassica Ooleracea) belongs to the family of crucifers.

Nutritional information

Kohlrabi provides 60mg of vitamin C per 100g (or as much as oranges), thus guaranteeing a portion of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Like other crucifers, kohlrabi provides magnesium (40 mg/100g), calcium (70mg/100g), B vitamins (B3: 1.7mg/100g and B5: 0.1mg/100g) and fibers (1.2 g/100g).
Similarly, kohlrabi preferably consumed raw or undercooked contains glucosinolates which, when ingested, can be converted to specific molecules that participate in limiting the development of some cancers (1) (2). The kohlrabi is undoubtedly a vegetable very rich in nutrients and low in calories. It definitely deserves to be better known!

How to taste it ?

Kohlrabi season begins in March in France and it is high time integrating it to your menus. Kohlrabi is cooked like a turnip, a carrot, a parsnip. This means that it fits in the preparation of many dishes, soups, stews, purees, wok vegetables, etc. However, it is best eaten raw because it thus preserves all its flavors ! Try it as an appetizer cut into sticks, in salads, cut into thin slices, grated associated with other seasonal vegetables (carrots, raw beetroot) and seasoned with a French dressing or with a sweet and sour Japanese sauce.

References : (1) Zhang Y. Cancer-preventive isothiocyanates: measurement of human exposure and mechanism of action. Mutat Res 2004 November 2;555(1-2):173-90. (2) Conaway CC, Yang YM, Chung FL. Isothiocyanates as cancer chemopreventive agents: their biological activities and metabolism in rodents and humans. Curr Drug Metab 2002 June;3(3):233-55.

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