Radishes are a root vegetable similar to a carrot. The veggie grows under the earth and absorbs most of it’s nutrients from the soil it is grown in. My recommendation is to purchase organic radishes to ensure that the soil they have been grown in is cleaner and less toxic than conventional soil. Radishes are from the cruciferous vegetable family related to broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and others. Cruciferous vegetables have been studied for their potential to have anti-cancer properties.
You are probably most familiar with the red radish which is the common variety sold in most produce sections in grocery stores and farmers markets. But…radishes come in many colours. You can get white, pink, purple, and black radishes. There is also a daikon radish which is ivory in color, usually sold in pieces in the market, as this radish grows quite large in size. The daikon radish is popular in Asian cooking. For this post I am going to talk about the red radish, the most commonly found radish.
Unfortunately radishes are a veggie that is not included on most weekly grocery lists. As I said earlier, I love radishes and whenever I see organic radishes in my grocery store I purchase them. I use radishes daily on my big green salads. I eat them as a snack too…with a sprinkling of Himalayan sea salt. Some radishes can be very peppery in flavour….if that is the right word. This may be the reason that people don’t eat them regularly. I love spicy foods so the heat from radishes suits me just fine.
Radish greens are very nutritious too. They should be chopped from the radish itself soon after bringing home from the market. Clean the greens as you would lettuce. These radish greens add a spicy flavor to your salad. You can even throw those radish greens into your smoothie or fresh pressed green juice. The radish greens contain calcium, iron, folate, vitamins A, C, and K and magnesium.
Radishes provide many nutritional benefits:
1. Radishes are one of the best veggie sources of vitamin C.
2. They are a great food for your complexion as they contain minerals such as sulfur and silica which help with healthy connective tissue formation.
3. Radishes can be helpful when fighting a cold as they help to eliminate mucus in your body and clear your sinuses.
4. Radishes have cleansing properties in your digestive system breaking down stagnant materials and eliminating toxins.
5. Radishes are low in calories (20 calories in a whole cup) and very high in fiber.
6. Radishes are high in water and help to add to your H2O intake and help to keep you hydrated.
7. Radishes contain an amount of calcium helpful for bone health.
8. Radishes are an immune system booster containing powerful antioxidants.
Radishes are best raw in salad but you can also roast radishes as a side dish, pickle them or add them to stir fries.
If you would like to turn radishes into a side dish why not throw a pound of trimmed, cleaned radishes in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a 1/2 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes until the radishes become tender. If there is still liquid in the pot, turn up the heat to boil off the remaining liquid and the radish will become glazed. You can squeeze a little fresh lemon into the pot if you like. Add some fresh chopped parsley and voila. You have a delicious, nutritious side dish.
Start adding the radish to your weekly grocery list.