I made it just on time before February is over! And this month the veggie of the month is another root vegetable, because as you might have guessed these are in season right now.

Have you ever tried black radish? Truth is, a lot of people haven’t. It can look somewhat foreign and maybe scary to some. Other might simply wonder how they can prepare it, and just ignore it at the farmers market. But black radish can be surprisingly tasty, and it has a lot of health benefits as well. Belonging to the mustard and cabbage family black radishes are one of the oldest cultivated plants. Quite different from the pink and purple spring radishes you might know, this one is different in that it is black on the outside (not much of a surprise there, I’d say!) and is of a bigger size. Its texture is somewhat tougher and it has a more pungent flavour.

Health Benefits

An excellent source of vitamin C black radish also contains vitamins A, E and B, and is also rich in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and iron. Black radish is a great food to eat in the still colder months, as it can help fight off infection, and promotes a healthy digestion. Talking about digestion, black radish also helps with detoxifying the organism. The phytochemicals called glucosinolates, that are contained in black radish help promote better health through the induction of detoxification enzymes. Their help with the detoxification of the body can contribute to better skin as well as strengthened immune system. Black radish stimulates the liver and increases the flow of bile. The rephanin content in black radish helps maintain healthy hormone levels secreted by the thyroid gland and is said to help with hyperthyroidism. It is a great food to include in your menu to lower cholesterol levels and inflammation in the body and to promote intestinal health.

How to select and store

You might have seen black radishes in the farmers market and thought that those are some dirt-covered beets. Their skin has a charcoal-like colour and they can have a round, cylindrical or elongated shape.
Select radishes that are firm and heavy and don’t have any cracks. You can store them in the fridge, wrapped in a brown paper bag for a few weeks. Because they store so well, you can buy black radishes without their greens attached.

How to cook black radish

The white flesh of the black radish is crisp, and offers a slightly bitter and spicy bite. I love roasting root vegetables, and black radish is no exception! All you need is some high quality oil and a pinch of salt and you’re good to go. If you are a fan of pungent flavours than you can enjoy them raw in a salad. In this case make sure you shred them so that you don’t have big bite sizes of black radish in your salad. You could also sauté some thin slices of black radish with ghee and a bit of salt.

What is your favourite way to prepare black radish?

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