Watermelon Radish Salad with Madarins

Vegetable of the Week: Radish

Originally cultivated in Ancient Egypt, followed by China and then later Greece, radishes come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes for you to enjoy. As a part of the cruciferous or mustard family, the radish is related to the delicious cabbage.

Spring radish varieties include the popular red globe radish, the french breakfast radish, daikon (who knew?) and lastly, watermelon. Oops, I almost forgot there are also white icicles.

Nutritional Benefits of Radishes

Radishes are bursting with vitamin C to get your body going. They are also high in fiber, iron, and copper and contain a good source of vitamin B6, foate, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Radishes are also cooling foods and help stimulate the appetite. Because radishes are know to aid in digestion, they are served in Asia at the end of a meal.

How to Select Radishes to Eat

Pick radish roots that are firm with vibrant color and smooth texture. When the radish roots are connected to the greens, make sure that the greens are crisp and fresh looking.

Radish Storage

If you do not eat all your radishes in one meal, in a jubilant radish eating celebration you will have to store them for later enjoyment. The first thing you do is separate the radish greens from the roots. This is an important step because the greens will continue to pull water and nutrients from the roots if you leave them connected.

After separating the two, you can then store the radish roots and greens in your refrigerator. The roots can stay refrigerated in a plastic bag (or crisper) for about one to two weeks. The greens of course do not last so long and will need find themselves in a radish greens recipe within two or three days.

Due to their high water content, radishes are not the best vegetable to freeze or to attempt to dry. If you want radishes to stay longer than mentioned above, pickling radishes is the best way to preserve.

How to Eat Radishes

Radishes have an earthy spicy flavor and are usually eaten raw in salads, whole, or pickled but you can also roast them or add to a stir fry. Thoroughly wash your radishes and remove the stem and end tip. You do not have to peel the skins for most spring radishes as they are not as pungent as other varieties. Some recommend that you peel the skins from daikon radishes due to the strong pungent flavor. I suggest you try a piece and see what you prefer. Remember: The skin holds most of the nutrients.

Spring Vegan’s radish recipe ideas:

When I think of a radish, I immediately pull out salad ingredients. The salad pictured above is a mix of watermelon radish, scallions, mandarin, and romaine lettuce tossed with a ginger, maple syrup, lemon, oil dressing. Another salad that I make is a slaw of watermelon radish, scallions, romaine lettuce tossed with soy free vegenaise and topped with smokey coconut (my bacon replacement :) ). Or you can eat them like the French with bread and butter.

Other radish recipe ideas found on the web:

Dill and garlic pickled spring radishes from Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook

Chickpea Radish Hors d’Oeuvres from Vegan Yum Yum
Note: Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are in season, so you can use fresh garbanzo beans instead of canned. Make sure you steam them of course. :)

Lastly, one recipe to veganize:

Spring Radish Tart from Noble Pig Wine Blog

We may not be chefs but our food is from our hearts --→ ♥
Becoming a healthy vegan was is still a challenge.
We hope the vegan recipes and info here helps you along your way.
Looking for more? Go to the Spring Vegan Recipes Section.

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