Friday, July 19, 2013

Radishes are Rad!

OK, the titles of my vegetable-inspired posts are getting a little ....erm..corny. Oh my. Did it again!

So until a few weeks ago I had no love for radishes, whatsoever, but then I had the great fortune of winning a place at the Culinary Institute's  Thrills on the Grill bootcamp.  Along with 9 other foodies/chef wannabes, I got to spend a full day at the Culinary Institute receiving instruction from Chef Ilona on how to prepare a number of dishes.  Many of them had tantalizing titles like Grilled Naan Bread, Beer Can Chicken and Mussels Steamed in Curry Maple Sauce, but there was one I was certain I'd not enjoy - Quick Radish and Cucumber Pickles. I have a great dislike for pickles, so I couldn't imagine actually enjoying this dish. Still, I like to be adventurous when it comes to food, so I decided to give it a chance.  So glad I did, because it was delicious and now I want to eat ALL the radishes!

Here is the recipe (I hope Chef Ilona doesn't mind!)

2 bunches of radishes
An English cucumber  (I've never actually included the cucumber when making this recipe)
4 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP vinegar
4 TBSP of salt*

* After receiving a number of questions regarding the salt content, I asked Chef Ilona if the ratio was correct. This was her response:  Yes, it is (the correct ratio). The reason being, I save the liquid (for up to 4 future uses) once I soak radishes for the allotted time. This brine also works well with cucumber, carrots or cauliflower(in italian it is called enslata renforzo). If people prefer to reduce the salt, feel free to take away a tbsp or two if desired, but brine must be discarded after, as bacteria/mold can grow in it.

Thinly slice the radishes and cucumber, place in bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 15 mins (or overnight).

Delicious and, as discussed below, radishes are super healthy!

What's So Rad About Radishes?

Breathe Easier

Radishes are thought to be a natural decongestant, so if you have respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic bronchitis, or just have a stuffed up nose, try taking some radish.

Cleanse Yourself

Radishes act as a natural cleanser for the digestive system by stimulating bile production, which keeps the liver and gallbladder operating efficiently. The liver, of course, is the body's detoxification centre. The importance of efficient detoxification to one's overall health cannot be overemphasized.

So you have a hangover eh? Why not chow down on a bowl of radishes and give your liver a lil 'thank-you' for putting up with your ingestion of alcohol?

Radishes may also help reduce bloating and indigestion.

Help Your Heart and Manage Blood Sugar

The nutrient content in radishes makes them very good for your heart and blood sugar management. They’ve been shown to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Support Your Kidneys, Prevent UTI

Radishes are cited as one of the most effective foods for preventing Urinary Tract Infections. For those with a UTI, drinking juice that contains radish may help relieve the burning sensation and reduce the duration of the infection.
 No Worries About Your Weight

Radishes are high in nutrients, low in calories, and contain water and fibre, which makes them pretty filling. By these measurements they are a great food for those concerned about their weight.

Those are only some of the many reasons that radishes are rad. Now stop reading this, go to your kitchen and make some delicious radish pickles!

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