3 It’s surprising how very few people know about kohlrabi. This cultivar of cabbage which is bred explicitly as a hardier version of cruciferous vegetables has a lot to offer. Interestingly, the shells of leaves of this vegetable don’t soften when cooked. Even those who know about this vegetable aren’t sure if it’s edible. So, are kohlrabi leaves edible?
Yes, Kohlrabi leaves are edible and quite beneficial too. Kohlrabi leaves have twice as much vitamin C as the tuber and also significantly more magnesium. Not only that, the kohlrabi leaves are very spicy and aromatic. Kohlrabi leaves can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen.
But should you use these leaves in your kitchen? What benefit can you expect from incorporating kohlrabi leaves into your diet? Indeed, there’s a lot you don’t know about them.
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Kohlrabi Leaves Recipes
Now that you know kohlrabi leaves are edible, let’s first talk about how you can use them in your diet. We will share some interesting recipes with you which will make it easier for you to make the most of these nutritious leaves.
Whenever you buy kohlrabi, the first thing you should do is remove the leaves. In fact, do the same with all tuber vegetables as the leaves suck the nutrients from the tuber.
Put the kohlrabi leaves in a glass of water. It wouldn’t take them long to soak up. If you put them in freshwater, they last a good 2 to 3 days, sometimes longer.
How To Cook Kohlrabi Leaves To Get All The Health Advantages?
If the leaves are still small, you can use them raw. They can be sprinkled over salads, or you can make kohlrabi leaves smoothies. The big ones can be cooked like spinach or in soups and stews.
Kohlrabi Leaves Smoothie Recipes
Kohlrabi leaves are a true source of energy in many ways. They and rich in vitamin C and can help boost your immune system.
For kohlrabi leaves smoothie, all you need are:
- Kohlrabi leaves from a kohlrabi tuber
- one banana, one ripe pear
- Lemon juice (half lemon)
- 250 ml of water
Kohlrabi leaves smoothie preparation:
- Wash the kohlrabi leaves and remove the stems.
- Roughly chop the leaves with a knife.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into pieces.
- Wash the pears. Remove the core and cut the pear into pieces.
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree them until you get a creamy consistency.
Recipe For Kohlrabi Leaves Soup
Kohlrabi leaves soup is a traditional and simple recipe. Kohlrabi leaves together with the tubers into a creamy-fine soup.
For four servings, you need the following ingredients:
- Kohlrabi leaves from 5-6 tubers
- Three kohlrabies
- Two onions
- 1 L vegetable broth
- 200 ml coconut milk
- Four tablespoons of rapeseed oil
- Lemon juice
How to prepare the kohlrabi leaves soup
- Peel and dice kohlrabi, and finely chop onions.
- Cut kohlrabi leaves into strips, removing stems and thick leaf veins.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and sweat the onion cubes until translucent.
- Deglaze with the vegetable stock and add the kohlrabi cubes and strips of leaves.
- Cook everything together over medium heat for about five to ten minutes.
- Add coconut milk and puree the mixture with a hand blender.
- Season it with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
It will be especially tasty if you spice up the simple cream soup with an addition of steamed kohlrabi cubes and a few leaf strips. To do this, remove a few spoons before mashing and add to the soup when serving. Good Appetite!
Kohlrabi Leaves Spinach Recipe
Creamed or seasoned spinach is a popular vegetable side dish – but you can also make spicy kohlrabi leaves spinach dish in just a few simple steps.
All you need for the kohlrabi leaves spinach recipe:
- Kohlrabi leaves from 4-5 tubers
- One onion
- Two cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
The preparation is effortless:
- Wash kohlrabi leaves, cut them into pieces, and remove stems and thick leaf veins.
- Finely dice the onion, and chop or press the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a pan; sweat the onion cubes and garlic.
- Add the kohlrabi leaves strips and cook over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Kohlrabi leaf spinach tastes spicier than the original. Its aroma is somewhat reminiscent of that of vine leaves. You can enjoy kohlrabi leaf spinach, for example, with boiled potatoes and fried eggs, or give your pasta sauce the extra spice.
Note: The amount of kohlrabi leaves needed depends on whether it is to be a side dish or a main dish (like spinach). It should then be increased accordingly (doubled or tripled). The same goes for onions.
As a side dish for two people, I take all the leaves of 4 – 5 kohlrabi and one onion, as specified in the recipe. I use all the kohlrabi leaves for this – both the large and the small ones.
Benefits Of Kohlrabi Leaves You Must Know
So now you know how to prepare delicious kohlrabi leaves recipes. The question is, are they really worth it? Kohlrabi leaves are not only healthy but also low in calories. It would undoubtedly be a shame to throw them away. Kohlrabi leaves taste like kale or collards, but they are less intense.
First things first, let’s shed some light on how kohlrabi as a vegetable can be beneficial for your health.
1. Kohlrabi Can Improve Digestion
Kohlrabi is an excellent source of dietary fiber. And it’s well known how vital fibers are for maintaining digestive health. After all, fibers improve your gut motility and reduce the incidence of constipation.
By maintaining adequate fiber intake, you can get rid of symptoms like cramping and bloating while simultaneously improving the overall quality of your GI system.
Considering the many ways you can use kohlrabi leaves, you have ample fiber content at your disposal via delicious recipes.
2. Kohlrabi Can Assist In Weight Loss
There’s a reason that kohlrabi is considered the perfect vegetable for weight loss. For one thing, it’s low in calories. Additionally, it also has fiber content and is enriched with many beneficial nutrients.
So when you consume something prepared with kohlrabi leaves, the high fiber content will instantly make you feel full. Hence, you won’t be inclined to give up on your diet due to hunger pangs.
Furthermore, you will also get a much-needed dose of beneficial nutrients in one go.
Even if you consume a little amount of food made with kohlrabi leaves, your appetite will be satisfied, and you will not be nutrient–deficient either. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
3. Kohlrabi Can Boost Energy Level
Kohlrabi is enriched with potassium which significantly influences your muscle and nerve behavior in the body. Indeed, the effect of potassium is apparent in various routine activities as it helps you move, react and function optimally.
So when you incorporate an adequate amount of potassium into your diet, you remain energetic and alert. And kohlrabi leaves are just the things you need to maintain a high concentration of this mineral in your diet.
4. Kohlrabi Helps In Regulating Blood Pressure
Studies have revealed that potassium does not only influence your energy levels but also works as a vasodilator. Hence, the mineral eases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system.
The result? Blood circulation is increased throughout the body. The key areas of the body remain well-oxygenated at all times. Therefore, the risk of cardiovascular events like stroke and MI is lowered significantly.
Potassium also plays a role in fluid regulation in the body. Potassium, along with sodium, regulates fluid movement between cells, thereby helping maintain blood pressure as well.
5. Kohlrabi Can Prevent Anemia
Kohlrabi also contains a high concentration of iron. And we don’t really need to elaborate on how beneficial iron is for overall health.
The high content of iron helps increase red blood cells in the body, thereby playing a key role in preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
Anemia is typically characterized by weakness, headache, disorientation, and lethargy. Needless to say, low iron levels in your blood can significantly affect your quality of life. But with kohlrabi leaves, you can evade this issue. Kohlrabi also contains an abundant amount of calcium which further enhances iron uptake by the body.
6. Kohlrabi Can Improve Bone Strength
Bone weakening is a sign of aging. While you can’t prevent it completely, you can definitely slow down the process. For this, you have to include mineral-rich food items into your diet. And this is where kohlrabi leaves can help you out.
After all, they are enriched with iron, calcium, and manganese. You get a high concentration of nutrients with minimum effort via kohlrabi leaves.
7. Kohlrabi Is Great For Your Eyes
Studies indicate that kohlrabi is also a rich source of carotenes, including beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has antioxidant properties and shows its effects, particularly on the ocular area.
Furthermore, the vitamin A present in kohlrabi also prevents macular degeneration and reduces the risk of appearance of cataracts. As the components in kohlrabi leaves neutralize the free radicals in the eyes, they prevent oxidative stress, helping maintain eye health.
8. Kohlrabi Can Protect Against Cell Damage
It’s well known that vitamin C works as a cell-protecting antioxidant. When you consume food items containing vitamin C, you get a much-needed dose of antioxidants. These antioxidants help reduce cell damage as they fight free radicals.
Therefore, when you incorporate kohlrabi leaves into your diet, you ensure your body has enough ammunition in its fight against the free radicals.
9. Kohlrabi Can Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have indicated that eating kohlrabi can reduce the risk of developing cancer. This is because kohlrabi contains potent phytochemicals, including isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbine. All of these have significant anticancer properties.
10. Kohlrabi Can Reduce Inflammation
Research suggests that red kohlrabi leaves have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, it can help your body fight chronic inflammation and prevent many medical conditions associated with it.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Kohlrabi Leaves?
Naturally, you must be wondering if it’s actually safe to include kohlrabi leaves into your diet. Luckily, no side effects have been reported with its use.
Although more studies need to be done to know the full range of benefits kohlrabi leaves offer, you can definitely incorporate them into your diet without worrying about side effects. Not only are they safe, but they are also pretty delicious too.