Why you should eat your radishes and some delish recipes that you may not of thought of!

I was a weird kid.  Yeah I have no problem saying that.  While others were asking for candy, ice cream and cakes; I was searching for rhubarb (raw), radishes, kohlrabi and other stinky or sharp vegies.  I loved (love) raw vegetables, almost all of them.  It’s quite funny really because I was an extremely picky eater as a child.

While radishes may not be an “odd” item to find in the markets, your CSA or a salad it is often overlooked when it comes to everyday dishes.  So today lets delve into the why and yum factor of this curious, spicy little vegetable.

Health Benefits of Consuming Radishes

Spring and summer allergies have your mucous lining in overproduction?  Then eat your radishes!  This mighty little vegetable helps to clear the sinuses, sooth a sore throat and cool the body.  While allergies can be very taxing on the system often leading into a summer cold.  The radish’s high dose of vitamin C help keep the immune system in check.  While the natural cleansing properties of a radish help to eliminate waste and keep the digestive track detoxified. Keeping the system flushed and ready to take on the world is the claim to fame of these little red sweet hearts.

Eat Your GreensEat your radish greens

Calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin A, C and K are all present in the greens.  Don’t throw these away!  The leaves are packed full of nutrients with a mildly sweet flavour akin to leaf lettuce.  They can be eaten cooked or raw.  Toss into a stir fry, add the leaves to a salad or even add a handful to a smoothie for a vitamin boost!  The versatility of these greens make it impossible to toss.

With so many way to prepare your radishes, and their greens, from raw to cooked how do you choose!  Here are a couple recipes to get you started.

Roasted Radishes – Recipe

Roasting RadishesRemove tops and bottoms from your radishes, wash and cut in half (quarters for larger ones).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bake in 400 F oven for 20 minutes.  Quick and simple the radishes come out sweet and tender.  Roasting removes some of the bite so if you are not a fan of radishes raw try these and you may be pleasantly surprised!

Radish Greens Pesto – Recipe

Radish Greens Pesto

What you will need:

  • 2 cups radish greens coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 garlic scapes or 3 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon raw cashew butter or 1/4 cup raw cashew nuts

How to  prepare:

Preparing the pesto

Place chopped radish leaves into food processor add in garlic scapes or cloves of garlic, nuts (or nut butter), 2 tablespoons olive oil, pinch of sugar and juice of half a lemon.  Process until finely blended.  If too thick add in more oil and process until desired consistency.

Taste test!  Radish leaves can range from very mild to strong and bitter depending on the age of the vegetable.  Taste the pesto then add in salt and pepper to your liking.  You can also add in a bit more sugar if needed.

This recipes makes 1 small jar, just enough for a couple meals.  Store in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  Please note that the pesto will get stronger as it ages!

Notes:

  1. Adding a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese brings a nice flavor and texture to this pesto.
  2. Other nuts can be substituted!  Pine nuts work great of course. I have been known to use a tablespoon of whatever nut butter (other than peanut) we happen to have on hand.  Though cashew is the family favorite 🙂

 

 

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