October Farmers Market Finds: Kohlrabi and ApplesSep 30, 2022 ● By Laine DeLeo
Photo credit by vaivirga for Adobe Stock
Exploring new ingredients at the farmers market can lead to creativity and excitement in the kitchen. According to Aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu, Kohlrabi is said to have been first grown in Ireland around 1734, later in England in 1837. Also known as the German turnip or turnip cabbage, it was originally cultivated from wild cabbage and is of the same broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and collard green family. The name is a combo of the German words for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rabi).
The kohlrabi is neither cabbage nor turnip, although it is reminiscent in flavor and texture to other members of the brassica family. They are best prepared when firm, and taste delightfully fresh with a crunch somewhere between and apple and jicama with a light, fresh flavor that may be interpreted as slightly sweet.
While it may appear to be exotic, once the “alien” arms and ends are removed and any bruised or overly thick parts of the skin are removed, kohlrabi is easy to work with and delicious eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes. Kohlrabi is rich in vitamin C and B6, which are vitamins best absorbed from food rather than supplements. Both B6 and C help support immune health and vitalize cells for proper functioning. Vitamin C can also help absorb iron. Another benefit kohlrabi provides is potassium for electrolyte balance. According to Healthline.com, these vitamins and minerals can protect the body from free radical damage and play a role in wound healing, collagen synthesis and heart health.
If that isn’t reason enough to try kohlrabi from the farmers market, here is a healthy, raw recipe to try that’s super-fast and tasty.
Fresh Fall Kohlrabi & Apple Salad
Yield: 2-4 SERVINGS
2 fresh, small to medium kohlrabi
2 fresh, small to medium apples (select a crisp variety)
¼ cup raw, whole or old-fashioned oats
2 Tbsp water
¾ tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp nut or seed butter
2 pinches salt
Wash and chop the apples in cubes.
Wash the kohlrabi, cut off the “alien” arms, slice off the top and root, and remove any brown or rough spots (the peel is edible and nutritious). Then chop into cubes, like the apples.
Mix/whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine the kohlrabi and apple cubes with the dressing.
Add the raw oats and toss everything together. Adjust seasoning to taste (if needed).
Serve and devour.
Note: According to The University of Illinois at Champaign’s
College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Kohlrabi is a
hardier crop unaffected by frost or moderate freezes. Farmers and gardeners can
even have a second fall crop with it, depending on the region and time of year.
Laine DeLeo is a self-proclaimed health goddess, foodie and founder of FastLaneToHealth.com, a vegan food company creating hit-the-spot healthy and tasty vegan snacks that are better for people and the planet. She is a 13-year Chicago resident and loves yoga, music, art, outdoor activities and supporting great local, independent businesses. Follow her on Instagram @FastLaneToHealth and Twitter @Fastlane2Health. TheNutritarian.org is her nonprofit blog advocating for wellness.
This Month at the Farmers Market
The SeasonalFoodGuide.org has an extensive list of what is available seasonally for early to late October, and includes apples, bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, greens, herbs, horseradish, lambs quarters, lettuce, okra, onions, paw paw, peas, plums, purslane, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, quince and more.