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All about “Kohlrabi”

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Kohlrabi is a vegetable that is eaten most often in winter and goes very well with potatoes and carrots in soups and stews. Cooked, it has a very pleasant nutty taste. It also has a wealth of fiber, vitamins and minerals, making it interesting for health.

Characteristics of kohlrabi:

  • Rich in fiber;
  • Source of vitamin C;
  • Source of vitamin B9;
  • Source of potassium;
  • Stimulates intestinal transit.

What is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi identity card

  • Type: Vegetable;
  • Family: Brassicaceae;
  • Origin: Europe;
  • Season: March to November;
  • Color: White, pale green or purple;
  • Flavor: Hazelnut flavor.

Characteristics of kohlrabi

At harvest, kohlrabi is a ball formed above the shape, surmounted by fleshy stems and leaves.

Word from the nutritionist

To make the most of the benefits of kohlrabi, you can eat it raw in salads.

Nutritional values

Per 100g of raw kohlrabi:

Nutrients                                                                Quantities                                                            
Protein 1.7g
Fat 0.1g
Carbohydrates 2.6g
Water 91 g
Fibers 3.6g
Vitamin C 62 mg
Vitamin B9 16 µg
Beta carotene 22 µg
Potassium 350 mg
Calcium 24 mg
Phosphorus 46 mg


8 benefits of kohlrabi: why eat it?

  1. Kohlrabi is a source of fiber that helps stimulate intestinal transit and play on satiety.
  2. Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals. These are very reactive molecules which are implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and other diseases linked to aging. Kohlrabi contains phenolic compounds as well as carotenoids.
  3. Kohlrabi contains considerable amounts of carotenoids, particularly in the form of beta-carotene. Carotenoids are compounds that also have antioxidant properties. In general, the consumption of foods rich in carotenoids is linked to a lower risk of suffering from certain cancers.
  4. Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C in women and a source in men, as the need for this vitamin is higher in men. The role that vitamin C plays in the body goes beyond its antioxidant properties; it also contributes to the health of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. In addition, it protects against infections, promotes the absorption of iron from plants and accelerates healing.
  5. Kohlrabi is a source of calcium. Calcium is by far the most abundant mineral in the body. It is mainly stored in the bones, of which it is an integral part. It contributes to the formation of bones and teeth, as well as to the maintenance of their health. Calcium also plays an essential role in blood clotting, maintenance of blood pressure and contraction of muscles, including the heart.
  6. Kohlrabi is a source of potassium. In the body, potassium is used to balance the pH of the blood and to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach, thus promoting digestion. In addition, it facilitates the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses.
  7. Kohlrabi is a source of vitamin B6. Also called pyridoxine, this vitamin is part of coenzymes which participate in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids as well as in the manufacture of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also contributes to the production of red blood cells and allows them to transport more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the transformation of glycogen into glucose and it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Finally, this vitamin plays a role in the formation of certain components of nerve cells.
  8. Kohlrabi is a source of folate. Folate (vitamin B9) is involved in the production of all cells in the body, including red blood cells. This vitamin plays an essential role in the production of genetic material (DNA, RNA), in the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system, as well as in the healing of wounds and wounds. As it is necessary for the production of new cells, adequate consumption is essential during periods of growth and for the development of the fetus.

Choosing the right kohlrabi

Preferably choose kohlrabi apples from 5 cm to 7 cm in diameter. Larger, they may be fibrous.
For miniature kohlrabi (2 cm or 3 cm), they will be cooked whole, with their skin on.

Keep well

In the refrigerator: Put them two by two in a plastic bag, preferably pierced.
In the freezer: Dice, blanch for three minutes and cool in ice water.
Lactofermentation: Make it a sauerkraut.
In the cellar: Kohlrabi will keep for a good part of the winter.

Preparation of kohlrabi

How to cook it? How to match it?

Don’t be afraid to experiment by preparing the kohlrabi.

  • As a salad. With apples, oranges, nuts, and a homemade mayonnaise with mustard and Provence herbs. Or, simply grated, with carrots.
  • Mashed or fried, as is done with potatoes.
  • Iced, in a mixture of broth, sugar and butter, seasoned with tarragon and parsley.
  • Au gratin with Jerusalem artichokes. Cut the vegetables into slices and cook them in boiling salted water with lemon juice. Then put in an ovenproof dish and cover with bechamel sauce and grated cheese.
  • In cream or in soup. For example, Broudou Khodhra, a Moroccan soup made of potatoes, celery, turnips, carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, tomato puree, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper. Dice the vegetables, then cook them in water with the tomato puree for 1 hour. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Lumberjack soup. Composed of a “peasant” (mixture of small pieces of vegetables cut into parallelepipeds or squares) of kohlrabi, turnip and potato returned in butter, then wet with water. Towards the end of the cooking, add small fresh white beans, when it is in season, or cooked rice beans, if it is out of season. Otherwise, put lenses in it. The soup is served with thin slices of whole bread, dried in the oven and placed in the bowl.
  • Chinese stir-fry with onions, shiitake mushrooms, cooked vermicelli and lean sirloin cut into thin strips. Season with oyster sauce, parsley and pepper.
  • With quail. First sauté the poultry for a few minutes in a casserole dish, add wine and herbs, then the diced kohlrabi. Cook for ten minutes and serve.
  • Stuffed with meat or vegetables. Add some of the chopped kohlrabi leaves and stems to the stuffing.
  • Very young kohlrabi can be prepared on skewers. First cook them whole in boiling water and drain them. Mount them on bamboo skewers at a rate of three per skewer and, with a brush, coat them with sesame oil. Cook them under the grill for about 8 minutes, turning them every 2 minutes. Make a sauce with honey, brandy, black bean paste and a little water. Coat the kohlrabi with this preparation, put them back under the grill until the sauce has hardened and forms an ice. Serve with the rest of the sauce.
  • Kohlrabi leaves are eaten like spinach or turnip greens.

History of kohlrabi

The term “kohlrabi” appeared in the French language in 1600. In Latin, caulo-rapa means “cabbage-turnip”, while gongylodes means “knees” by allusion to the fact that the bulbous part, which rests on the ground, gives the impression that the plant is kneeling. In certain regions of France, it is called “colrave” or “headed cabbage” and, to describe it botanically, it will be said to be an aerial tuber, the kohlrabi is not strictly speaking a root, but rather a bulge in the stem.

In the first century AD, we “created” cabbage. Around the same time, in a region close to what is today Germany, we were interested in borecole plants with short swollen stems. By dint of selection, we end up obtaining an increasingly swollen stem which, after a few centuries, results in the shape we know today.

Appreciated in Germany and in the north of Europe, kohlrabi is little consumed in France and in the other countries of Western Europe, where it is intended for farm animals. Like the Jerusalem artichoke, the rutabaga and the turnip, it suffered, during the last world war, from the consequences of an obligatory presence in the food of every day. Today, many people still refuse to consume it. In North America, despite timid efforts to publicize it, he remains the poor relative of the large cabbage family.

For further

Organic gardening

Kohlrabi likes cool temperatures and therefore prefers to be grown in spring and fall. However, in the spring, avoid planting it before the temperatures have stabilized and reached 15 ° C. Otherwise, it would risk going to seed prematurely.

Although all members of the cruciferous family are susceptible to the cabbage fly, root or near-root vegetables such as kohlrabi are particularly exposed. It is in the root of the plant that the larvae settle and dig their tunnels, which makes the vegetable very unappetizing. However, in the garden, the combination of lettuce and kohlrabi has the effect of significantly reducing the attacks of the cabbage fly which does not like the smell of lettuce. We will therefore sow these two vegetables alternately.

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