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Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is one of the great forgotten vegetables. Once a favorite of nobles, it is of the same family as the cabbage, with the texture of an apple and a more mild and delicate sweetness. It is a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins and relieves damp body conditions. Perfect in a summer salad, stir-fry or a good soup.

Kohlrabi
The thermal nature is neutral.
The flavour is .
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What it is

Kohlrabi, once the preferred vegetable of European nobles and peasants alike, is part of the same family of vegetables as the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. They have a round swollen shape, with a crisp and moist texture like that of an apple although with a more mild and delicate sweetness, it has mild hints of the flavor or broccoli and cabbage.

Kohlrabi is often mistaken for a root vegetable where in fact they grow just above the ground.
There are several varieties commonly available 
• White Vienna, 
• Purple Vienna, 
• Grand Duke, 
• Gigante (also known as "Superschmeltz")
• Purple Danube,
• White Danube

Any purple color is only skin deep, the edible parts are all pale yellow. The leafy greens can also be eaten as a leafy green vegetable.


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What is in it

Kohlrabi is an excellent source of fiber and potassium and also has a very good amount of vitamin A, Vitamin C and a good amount folic acid and calcium.


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What it is good for

Kohlrabi has many good healing properties, it:
• Eliminates blood stagnancies
• Reduces damp conditions of the body
• Treats indigestion
• Treats blood sugar imbalance – Hyperglycemia and diabetes
•  Aids difficult or painful urination
• Helps stop bleeding of the colon
• Reduces swelling of the scrotum
• Reduces the effects of intoxication with drugs or alcohol
• Drink the juice as a remedy for nosebleed.


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When you get it

Kohlrabi is available year round with its peak season and sweetest flavor in spring through early summer.


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Which to select

Why Organic
To eat organic means to live cleanly, free of pesticides and toxins. It is a conscious choice. One made in order to survive right along with the planet that sustains us. Organically grown food do not over-run the landfills with toxic waste, subject your body to unhealthy foods or subject an animal to a inhumane life even if it is short. For your health and for the planet, choose to eat organic foods. To understand more about why organic is better please read our “Why Organic?” special feature.

The vegetable
You should choose small immature kohlrabi with its edible skin rather than the giant size with its woody, fibrous texture and inedible outer layer. The larger globes definitely need to be peeled. The best size of kohlrabi are up to 5 cm in diameter the spring and 10cm in diameter in the fall (autumn) except for the Gigante variety that can grow to a great size and still retain its good eating qualities. 
They should be smooth, not withered skinned and firm to touch. Try to select vegetables with greens attached that are fresh. If the greens are yellowing then the kohlrabi are not fresh.


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Where to store

Kohlrabi can be stored well in the refrigerator for up to one month. Yellowing leaves are a sign that they are not fresh. 


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How to use

Remove the stems and leaves from the bulb. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads or stir-fries. If the kohlrabi is small it is best un-pealed. Cut off the tough base. Then it is ready to be diced, shredded or sliced.

• It is a great raw vegetable
o Julienne and use the sticks for a snack or dips like hummus or yogurt
o Roughly grate and throw into your salads or coleslaws
o Dice and add with other vegetables into a salad
o Great added to a raw soup
• Steam slices or bite-size pieces of the kohlrabi for just 5 to 7 minutes until it is slightly soft to the bite.
• Stir-fry diced pieces of kohlrabi with chopped garlic for 5 to 7 minutes and then add a little olive oil or add chopped kohlrabi with other vegetable in a stir-fry.


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How much you need

To reach your health goals and become healthy the most important step is to eat a well balanced diet of food from across all the food groups. 

For an average person 
 
Servings per food group:
• Whole Grains (Carbohydrates):  6 – 8 
• Meat and beans (Protein):  1 – 2 
• High quality fats: 1
• Dairy:     2 – 3
• Fruit: 2
• Vegetables: 5
• Water: 6

This list is of recommended daily amount of each food group for an average person 19 to 50 years old with a low level of exercise (30minutes of less a day). If you are older you may need a little less, if you are younger, a little more and if you are very active even more food should be eaten. For more information on serving sizes see our special feature on Sizing Up A Serve.

It is important to ensure that the foods that you eat are of a high quality. The highest quality product is one that is fresh, whole and organic.

Fresh – over time the quality of nutrients degrades with their potency dying off.

Whole – many foods, particularly vegetarian foods carry a lot of their nutrients in their outer skins. So leave bran, germs and skins on the food where possible; always with grains and whenever the fruit of vegetable permits.

Organic – ensure you have the cleanest food by using only foods that are grown without pesticides, or other chemicals, in a natural way as people have in all bar the last 80 years of history. Chemical burdened foods are a modern invention designed to increase output with little regard to the health of the end user.


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References

The Journal of Nutrition – The American Society for Nutrition, http://jn.nutrition.org, retrieved 05/2009.

Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlrabi, retrieved 05/2009.

Prepared by the editors at Harvard Health Publications in consultation with Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Vitamins and Minerals: What you need to know,  Harvard School of Public Health, 2008.

Bratman, Steven, and David Kroll. Natural Health Bible. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1999.

Paul Pitchford. Healing with whole food, North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 2004.

Norton Greenberger M.D. and Roanne Weisman, 4 Weeks to Healthy Digestion, Harvard School of Public Health. (2008)


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