Round or long, colorful, crunchy and pleasantly spicy, the everyday radish delights our taste buds throughout the spring and provides us with many nutrients necessary to keep us in shape. Long live the season of radishes!
Radish ID Card
The radish (Raphanus sativus) is a annual vegetable plant (sometimes biennial) belonging to the family Brassicaceae. There are several groups of radishes, including the daikons (Raphanus sativus var. acanthiformis) or black radishes (Raphanus sativus var. black). The small pink radishes (called monthly radishes) being, for their part, classified Raphanus sativus var. sativus.
Radishes have been known and cultivated for a very long time, for food or medicinal purposes. Depicted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (2,700 BCE), they were cultivated for their roots and oilseeds.
But the radishes as we know them today are more recent productions: in France, it was not until the 16th century to see the black radish (which would not be consumed until the 18th century) and the 18th century for the small radishes roses. Until then, the radishes were rather large, elongated, and white or black in color.
Today there are many varieties, different sizes, shapes (elongated, round, pointed), colors (pink, red, pink with white tips, yellow) and flavors (more or less spicy). France produced 45,366 tons in 2019 (with 50 varieties grown), which places it on the 2nd step of the podium of European producers.
Some varieties of monthly radish
‘Cherry belle’: round, bright red, medium-sized root with white flesh.
‘From 18 days’: half-long root, bright pink with a white tip, with crunchy flesh.
‘Malaga’: round, purple root with white, sweet flesh.
‘Zlata’: round root, yellow with white flesh
The radish season of every month
The peak season for radishes of all months is between March and June, even if growing under cover allows them to be on the shelves all year round.
How to choose radishes?
Radishes are purchased in bunches. The leaves should be green and raspy, and the roots not too large, firm, brittle, smooth-skinned and brightly colored.
How to store radishes?
Radishes do not store very well. It is therefore advisable to consume them as soon as possible. Otherwise, place them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, with their tops.
Shelf life: 4 to 5 days, cool and without washing.
To know : over the days, the roots soften and become more pungent.
The nutritional qualities of radishes of all months*
The monthly radish is 95.5% water and has only one low caloric value (14.50 kcal per 100g). Low in sugars and fiber, it contains many minerals and trace elements (calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc) including a significant amount of potassium (12.50% of NRV** per 100 g) beneficial, among other things, to the nervous system, kidneys, muscles and to blood pressure.
In terms of vitamins, 100 g of radishes provide 47.70% of NRVs in vitamin B9 (the vitamin for pregnant women, also essential for the formation of amino acids and red blood cells, beneficial to the nervous and immune system, etc.) and 15.25% of NRVs in vitamin C (which protects against cell aging, supports immunity, participates in the formation of red blood cells, etc.).
Radishes also contain sulfur compounds which can, of course, cause some slight intestinal disorders (flatulence, bloating, etc.), but which would participate in a protective action against cancer.
To know : the quantities of sulfur compounds are lower in young people radish.
How to cook monthly radishes?
Crunching the radish plain, or with a little salt or butter is the easiest and healthiest way to eat it. Cut into slices, it can be used to decorate spring salads. Despite everything, it can be cooked, provided it is quick: a few minutes in a wok or steamer.
To know : the younger the radish, the less spicy it is.
Do not forget : sprouted seeds and radish tops are edible. Cook these in soup, clafoutis, gougères or in sauce.
*Sources: ANSES 2020 (Table of nutritional composition of Ciqual foods) / aprifel.com.
**NRV: nutritional reference value, formerly called Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), per 100g.
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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