Tips & Info

Improve Your Produce IQ: Kohlrabi

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at www.sounddietitians.com/sd-blog/kohlrabi-not-a-ufo.

 

I’d like to introduce you to one of my family’s favorite vegetables. It’s called kohlrabi (“coal-rah-bee”). You may have seen this vegetable at your local grocery store, looking like a misshapen UFO. You have likely overlooked it, not knowing what it was or what to do with it. ​

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable, just like broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. Like these other vegetables, it grows above ground where part of the stem of the plant swells into a ball close to the soil. Leaves sprout from this ball. Kohlrabi comes in three different colors: white, light green, and purple. The inner flesh is white in all varieties. ​


What does a kohlrabi taste like? ​

Smaller kohlrabi globes are sweet and juicy like apples. The larger ones are more fibrous and must be peeled before you can enjoy them. While a kohlrabi globe can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks (in a container), you need to use the greens and stems (yes, they are edible) as soon as possible. Note: not all kohlrabi is sold with their greens. ​

How do you eat kohlrabi? ​

You can eat this mild-tasting vegetable either raw or cooked. Some ideas for using it are:

  1. Grate into a salad or add to coleslaw.
  2. Eat sliced like an apple and enjoy with a dip of nut butter or hummus.
  3. Include in soups or in a mixed-vegetable stir-fry.
  4. Use the chopped greens as you would other greens.
  5. Chop the stems to include with your greens. ​

How nutritious is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is a nutrient-packed vegetable that has only 48 calories in one cup (sliced and cooked). It is low in sodium and is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese, and is an excellent source of vitamin C (1). Studies show that cruciferous vegetables play a key role in cancer-fighting (2), among other health claims. ​

Even though kohlrabi can usually be found year-round, you might not find it in your local grocery store. Request it in the produce section of your grocery store to see if they will order it for you. You can often find it in a natural food market or at an Asian grocery store. It is also more likely to be found in the winter and spring. It is very easy to grow and can be grown even during the winter months in the Pacific NW. ​

I encourage you to try this delicious vegetable – it may become a new family favorite!

 

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at www.sounddietitians.com/sd-blog/kohlrabi-not-a-ufo.