Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Radishes: The Garden Underdog

I used to think radishes were just a colorful way to dress up a salad, merely cosmetic in their purpose.  When I began growing radishes, it was because they were marketed as great first veggies for introducing kids to the garden.  The seeds can be sown in March, the start to finish (sow to harvest) is only 28 days.  In fact, I usually see sprouts in 2-3 days after the seeds are in the ground.  That’s perfect for the short attention span of a child!  However, my admiration for radishes goes beyond their ability to entertain my kids. 

The motto in our house is “everything tastes good with Ranch dressing.”  So we added radishes to the salad and piled on the Ranch.  Then I got to thinking they were maybe more than just a casual veggie.  Along with the red radish, the greens can also be eaten.  In fact, the leaves are the most nutritious part of the vegetable!  Most people cut the greens and throw them out. 

So what makes the radish worth a second glance?  Consider the following nutrition for radishes.  And remember, the leaves contain almost 6 times more of the Vitamin C than the red root.

Nutrition:  low in calories, super rich in Vitamin C and calcium.  They also contain protein, fiber, potassium and folic acid.

Uses for radishes:
1.  Cut up in salad (both the radish and leaves)-- Since they’re a little “bristly”, I found it better to cut them small and mix among regular salad greens.  That way we got the powerhouse part without the turned up noses.
2.  In a Smoothie (the radish greens)—consider adding some dandelion with it, as in my previous post.
3.  On a sandwich

Storing radishes: 
Remove the leafy tops and store the greens in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.  The red root can be stored in plastic bags for up to one week in the refrigerator. 

1 comment:

  1. Also forwarding this on to gardener hubby--great to know, thanks!