Local Superfoods #1- The Radish

Hopefully this post will convince you that superfoods don’t need to come from the amazon rain forest, they can grow right in your own backyard or be grown by your favorite local farmer!

radish - early scarlet globeRadishes are one of the first cool weather vegetables to appear in gardens across the northern hemispere, but too often they are underappreciated.  It must have been in the 1970′s that radishes started to fall from grace.   They went from a farm crop that nobody in North America really knew what to do with, into that ubiquitous bolt of color in a steakhouse chopped salad that you try to pick out our eat around.radish - cincinnati marketRadishes are a part of the Brassica family, along with other vegetables that have been given a bit more attention, like kale and broccoli. Radishes have too long been used as garnishes, but deserve superfood status and to take center stage. There are many different types of radishes, and can be found throughout the growing season in a range of colors, shapes and sizes.

 

White Icicle Radish

White Icicle Radish

Full of vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, vitamin K and fibre, radishes are also a great source of glucosinolates, a phytochemical which may decrease the risk of certain cancers. The sulpher based chemicals found in radishes may promote bile production, helping to maintain a healthy liver and gallbladder, and improve digestion.

Purple_Plum_RadishTry these Quick Marinated Radishes on a sandwich or over a salad.

  • ½ lb radish, thinly sliced or quartered (you can try a combination of radishes, cucumber, carrot and peppers)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Sweetener, to taste (up to 1 Tbsp) – honey, sugar, agave, etc.
  • Salt, to taste (up to 1 teaspoon)
  • Minced Chives, to taste

Toss everything together and leave it to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before consumption. Or store in the fridge for up to several days (if it lasts that long).

This bright, crisp and peppery salad is glorious alongside simply grilled meats or fatty starches.

This is equally delectable in condiment form and served as a salsa.  Instead of quartering the radishes, give them a fine chop.  The sweet, bold, piquant salsa is well worth the effort of chopping a few radish.

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