Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.


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Week Four: Radishes

And our week four veggie is ……radishes!!! Lucie and I just returned from an afternoon of radish shopping. I think letting kids shop for veggies is an important way to get them interested in eating veggies. Lucie loves looking at all the unusual produce and planning what she would like to try in the future. Here she is admiring the variety of beets at Whole Foods.

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We did browse a few other veggies and, of course, the toy and electronics section at Target. We checked out the radish supplies and prices at Whole Foods, Hy-Vee and Super Target. We were hoping to find the standard red radish that we know so well, as well as a few other varieties. Although we have seen the small white radishes at Whole Foods before, they did not have any today. We found a very large, white radish variety called the daikon radish at Hy-Vee. We only purchased one, because we really did not know what we would do with it. When we got home, a quick search of Pinterest gave us lots of ideas.

Did you know that there are varieties of the daikon radish that are planted for the purpose of drilling through the soil with their giant roots? These tillage radishes are planted in the late summer and allowed to grow until they are killed by cold weather. Their growing roots diminish soil compaction. They are killed by cold weather and then decompose over the winter, enhancing the nutrient content of the soil. One of the varieties I read about was called “Groundhog“, apparently for its excellent digging ability. One downside to this technique seems to be that the radishes get a bit stinky as they decompose in the field. I had never heard of tillage radishes before today. You can read more about it at TillageRadish.com. Does anyone have any experience with radishes used in this way? I’m curious about just how smelly this really is.

Tillage radish update: I have spoken with someone who has experienced tillage radish decomposition first hand. Apparently, the process is very stinky, lasts several weeks and is reminiscent of sewage. I think I will skip tillage radishes as a means of soil amendment in my garden. I have read that turnips can be used in a similar way and are not stinky. I am interested in any more information you may have on this topic. Please erase any thought you may have of sewage aroma before moving on to the recipe section of this blog post…

Our radish recipes for today are as simple as can be.

Recipe #1: Sliced radishes with salt.

Ingredients:

  • radishes
  • salt

Slice radishes. Sprinkle salt on top of radish slices. Feed to three year old. Tell him they are chips. Watch them disappear.

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Theo gives this recipe two enthusiastic thumbs up. He ate a whole pile of them and asked for seconds.

Recipe #2: Sliced Radishes on Buttered Crackers

Ingredients:

  • crackers
  • butter
  • sliced radishes
  • salt

If you can, try to keep the three year old from eating a few of the sliced radishes from Recipe #1, so you can use them in this recipe. Butter some crackers. Place radish slices on top of butter. Sprinkle salt on top of radish slices. Delicious!

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This is a favorite snack of Lucie’s. She ate the whole plate full.

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This snack gets an easy two thumbs up rating from Lucie. Dave and I love radishes. Josie is not a fan and was not feeling up to trying any radishes today. We eat radishes like this at our house all the time. I think they are a great substitute for potato chips – crunchy and salty, without all the fat and calories. (A half of a cup of sliced radishes only has about ten calories.)

We are planning to try one of the recipes where you roast the radish chips later this week.

Thanks for visiting,

Jen

P.S.

A few words from Lucie:

We ate radishes today. I like them best with crackers and butter. I am looking forward to cooking the big white radish that we got at the store today. We will show you a picture of it in our next post. Happy Groundhog Day!

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