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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What is Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi!! It's a little different than your commonly known vegetables that you are more familiar with. Although it is not as commonly known, it is one of our favorite vegetables we look forward to every gardening season.

How is it grown?
Kohlrabi is an easy cool weather vegetable to grow. It is easily grown from seed and has a short growing time til harvesting, which makes it a great vegetable to grow all season long! It grows either light green or purple varieties and is harvested around tennis ball to softball size for it to be crisp and tender. Any larger than that can result in split and woody kohlrabi. The bulb grows above ground and size can easily be seen for harvesting.

So what is kohlrabi? This is the first big question we get at the farmers market when it comes to kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family. so it has the sweet but somewhat peppery flavor. Generally we eat just the bulb part growing close to the ground, but the whole kohlrabi plant is edible. The skin of the kohlrabi has a rubbery texture similar to broccoli and cauliflower stems and can be a light green or purple color. When eating, you peel the skin off and eat the white center of the kohlrabi. Which is a pleasantly crunchy texture.

I haven't seen kohlrabi much in our local grocery stores, but it can easily be found at your local farmers markets during the growing season.

When selecting kohlrabi to buy, you want the bulk part to be firm and solid. We pick them and find that we like them best when they are about the size of a softball. You may find them with the stems on or already taken off. When storing kohlrabi, remove the stems and they will store nicely in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for a week or so.

Now for the second big question when it comes to kohlrabi....how do you eat it?

Kohlrabi is pretty great eaten raw, which is how my family enjoys it the majority of the time! We just recently have tried using it in a few recipes. When eaten raw, it has a cabbage-y broccoli like flavor with a hint of sweet and peppery. It has a crisp texture and great to snack on. We LOVE just peeling it and slicing it thin and snacking on it.

For cooking with kohlrabi, we have sliced it into pieces and added it to our crock pot meal of sausage, potatoes, and green beans. It soaked up the flavor and was delicious! We have also added it to stir fry. We had a customer at the market share with us that she has cut it up real fine and added it to her meatloaf. Another customer has shredded it and added it to her homemade coleslaw.

Kohlrabi is a great versatile vegetable to enjoy in the raw form as a snack, to use as a filler in other meals, or to enhance it in any side dish to any meal.

Have you ever cooked with kohlrabi? How do you enjoy eating it?

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