Radish Basics: Picking, Storing, Nutrition and Healthy, Oil-Free Vegan Recipes

Here are Radish Basic Essentials: How to pick, store, and cook healthy, oil-free vegan recipes.  When to choose organic. Plus, nutrition information on this delicious fresh vegetable.

Fresh radishes are a delicious, healthy vegetable. Enjoy raw for a crispy texture on salads or chili.  Braise or roast for your favorite oil-free vegan recipes

Fresh radishes are a delicious, healthy vegetable. Enjoy raw for a crispy texture on salads or chili.  Braise or roast for your favorite oil-free vegan recipes

Radish Rainbow: You might see yellow, black, pink, or even purple radishes at farmer's markets. These colors come from the different antioxidants in the skin and create beautiful toppings for salad

Radish Rainbow: You might see yellow, black, pink, or even purple radishes at farmer's markets. These colors come from the different antioxidants in the skin and create beautiful toppings for salad

Chef's Plant-Based Tip:"Daikon" literally translates from the Japanese for "white radish".  This long, white radish is generally available year-round.  It is often used in detox recipes due to its natural diuretic effects

Chef's Plant-Based Tip:"Daikon" literally translates from the Japanese for "white radish".  This long, white radish is generally available year-round.  It is often used in detox recipes due to its natural diuretic effects

French Breakfast Radishes - This traditional variety is long and slender, with a pink that fades to white, invoking the sunrise associated with their name.  They are traditionally served with butter, often at breakfast or appetizer, in France and England

French Breakfast Radishes - This traditional variety is long and slender, with a pink that fades to white, invoking the sunrise associated with their name.  They are traditionally served with butter, often at breakfast or appetizer, in France and England

Chef's Low-Calorie Tip: Shred cauliflower in the food processor to use in place of rice for healthy, plant-based stir-fry recipes

Chef's Low-Calorie Tip: Shred cauliflower in the food processor to use in place of rice for healthy, plant-based stir-fry recipes

Chef's Plant-Based Tip: Use a Japanese mandolin to quickly and easily slice radishes.  Use over salads, soups, or stews in place of croutons or crackers for a healthy, gluten-free crunch

Chef's Plant-Based Tip: Use a Japanese mandolin to quickly and easily slice radishes.  Use over salads, soups, or stews in place of croutons or crackers for a healthy, gluten-free crunch

 

Quick Reference Pin:

Radishes 101 - Healthy Infographic Pin for Season, How to Choose, Store, Cook, and Nutrition

Radish Basics

Seasons:  

  • Spring to Fall:  Get fresh US radishes from April to October.  After that, small radishes are often imported while long radishes (like daikon) can be stored and sold for a longer period

Choosing: 

  • Bright, Firm: Look for bright, plump radish bulbs that are firm
  • Green Leaves: If the leaves are still attached, they should be bright green.  Faded, wilted leaves mean the radishes are older and have lost much of their flavor.
  • Varieties and Colors:  Radishes come in a variety of sizes and colors.  There are long, white smooth Daikon and the small classic red.  Breakfast radishes have a gorgeous skin that fades from pink to white.  Watermelon radishes are named for their watermelon coloring.  A bunch of Easter Egg radishes looks like a basket from the Easter Bunny, with a colorful assortment of bulbs. 
  • Organic?  It's up to you.   Radishes are one of the least sprayed vegetables.  In fact, their peppery quality is a natural deterrent, and radishes can often be used as a chemical-free way to repel pests.

Storing:

  • Trim, Cold, Dark:  As soon as you can, trim off the green tops from radishes.  Leaving this attached will leach out flavor and vitamins.  Wrap loosely in a damp towel, and store in a cold, dark place.  The greens are edible so you can keep them stored in a damp towel in the fridge as well.
  • Eat raw radishes within 5 days.
  • Radish slices: To keep the crunch of sliced radishes, store in a container and cover with water.  Simply drain the submerged radishes before topping salads or grain bowls.  Soaking retains the crunchy, spicy flavor of the radishes.
  • Freezing:  You'll want to steam or boil radishes before freezing or canning.  Simply boil or steam until knife tender and drain.  Store in an air-tight plastic bag (removing as much air as possible) for freezing.

How to Clean and Cook:

  • How to Clean: Rinse radishes under running water.  If you're eating the skins, use a vegetable brush to scrub off any grit.
  • How to Trim: Simply use a sharp paring knife to trim the top and bottom of the radishes.
  • How to Cook:
    • Steam, boil, or roast radishes until knife-glide tender.  Use cooked radishes in pasta dishes, stews, braises, and grain salads.  
    • Pickle:  Pickle radishes in a quick brine (1 parts vinegar to 4 parts water + salt, red chili flake, or whatever spices you'd like)
    • Slice or shred Raw:  The easiest way to enjoy radishes?  Slice on a mandolin and enjoy over salads, tacos, and bowls of chili

Nutrition (help from the Mercola)

  • Fat Free, Cholesterol Free, Low Sodium
  • Low Calorie: 1 cup of sliced radishes has only 18 calories!
  • Excellent Source of: Vitamin C
  • Antioxidant Nutrition Power:
    • Fiber - Aids in digestion, relieving constipation
    • Vitamin C helps rebuild and repair skin tissue, blood vessels, healthy bones
    • Diuretic Effect -- likely due to their peppery quality, radishes are natural diuretics, linked to detoxifying the liver and kidneys
  • Radish Relatives:  Radishes are part of the is part of the Cruciferous (Brassica) family.  It's relatives include broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Healthy, Oil-Free Plant-Based Radish Recipes