Farmer’s Market Find: Kohlrabi

I’ve seen kohlrabi at farmer’s markets before, but I’d never really thought about buying one. After all, have you ever heard  anyone exclaim, “Oh my gosh, that is the best kohlrabi I’ve ever had!” I mean, it isn’t as though they are known as the gem of bountiful harvests. But in keeping with the spirit of adding variety to my diet in order to reap more nutritional benefits from the food I eat, I pulled the trigger and purchased several of these stout veggies this weekend. 

Refreshing and Crisp

To make sure my newly purchased kohlrabi didn’t go bad in the back of our refrigerator while I procrastinated in finding a recipe, I asked the farmer for their opinion on the best way to prepare them. The answer was music to my ears – simply cut them up and sprinkle the pieces with salt, pepper and lime juice. That’s exactly what I did and I can say that I was thoroughly surprised how much I enjoyed munching on these veggies. The flavor is sort of a cross between a broccoli stem and jicama. The lime and salt give the crunchy vegetable a more robust kick. 

Impressive Health Benefits

Not only are kohlrabi easy to prepare and taste great, they have enormous health benefits!

  • Fresh kohlrabi is a rich source of Vitamin C, providing 62 mg per 100g, which is about 102% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body. It also helps maintain healthy connective tissue.
  • Like other members of the Brassica family (that which includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussel sprouts), kohlrabi contains phytochemicals that are believed to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Kohlrabi contains Vitamin B-6, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid which supports a healthy metabolism.
  • Most notably, this German turnip has significant levels of copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. 

Selection and Storage

Choose fresh kohlrabi that is no larger than a grapefruit in order to avoid overly mature roots that become tough and result in poor eating quality. Avoid choosing those with cracks or cuts. Kohlrabi can be kept at room temperature for 3-5 days, however they will last much longer if stored in the refrigerator.