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This unusual little vegetable is said to resemble an alien, a sputnik or with its leaves on even a hot air balloon but it was bred from the wild cabbage and is not a root vegetable but an edible bulb that forms in the stem just above the ground.
It takes about 55 to 60 days to mature after planting and it tastes like a more subtle and sweeter version of the broccoli stem or cabbage heart. It can be used in salads and cooked. The leaves are also edible and can be used in place of spinach, or kale – or try them in coleslaw.
They have been grown and used in Northern Europe for centuries but are not as well known in Australia. The most common are the green or purple varieties, but regardless of colour their flesh is white. We grow them throughout the year but especially in the cooler months. They are better eaten fresh as they do tend to lose their flavour if stored for too long.
The kohlrabi is very low in calories but is high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Folic acid, calcium and dietary fibre.
Just try this little vegetable and you will not only enjoy a very healthy addition to your diet but will learn two new foreign words as Kohl means cabbage and Rabi means Turnip in German.