Know about Knol Khol

Knol khol is one of the lesser known vegetables. It is known by many different names, like Navalkol. Ganth Gobi etc. But it is most commonly known as Kohlrabi.

Knol khol, or kohlrabi as it is better known as, has North-European origins. It has thence spread all over the world, including in South Asian countries. It is very widely used in the Northern state of Kashmir in India. It is also used popularly in many other states in this country.

The kohlrabi is quite similar in looks to that of a cabbage. It is greenish in color, with white patches. It is big and round. The main difference with the cabbage is that there are no leaves covering this vegetable. There may be some light green colored extrusions which are mostly shoots.

It is sometimes also called the German Turnip because of its stout and tuber like structure. It belongs to the brassica family, which also contains the cabbage and brussels sprouts. It is one of those few vegetables which originated in Europe. Kohlrabi (or Brassica oleracea) is a perennial plant as it is grown all throughout the year. It has a very cool and succulent stem, which can be consumed.

Buying tips
When you go to the market to buy the Knol khol, you should make sure that they are fresh, in order to have a healthy meal. When you go to buy the kohlrabi, make sure that the inside is hard, just like the cabbage. There should not be a lot of extrusions, and you should avoid those which are water soaked or wilted. Make sure that the skin does not have any cuts or dark stains or spots. These may arise due to bad packaging while transportation, and cause the vegetables to lose its freshness. The vegetable should not be too woody or have any cracks. You should keep in mind that the younger the stems are the tastier and more flavors it will have.

Culinary uses
Kohlrabi is very commonly used in India, and is a part of many Indian recipes. It is used in many vegetable preparations, along with other vegetables. It complements onions very well. Before cooking, make sure that the knol khol is properly washed. It is generally washes in saline water for about 15 minutes, to get rid of all dirt or residues of toxic insecticide or fungicide. After washing the stems properly, they needs to be peeled properly and then may be cooked. They usually have taste similar to that of cabbage. They can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be chopped into small pieces or larger chunks, or it may be cut longitudinally. It can also be grated and then cooked with salt, pepper, and the very popular “garam masala”. Some of the common culinary usages are:

  1. You can make knoll khol saag by heating oil, and adding to it some kohlrabi, spices, onions chopped into small pieces, and cumin seeds.
  2. It is often had with brown rice and dal, and is one of the major meals for farmers. Rice provides the carbohydrate to work in the fields, while the dal and vegetables gives them the vital nutrients needed by the human body.
  3. Kohlrabi is widely used in salads, along with other food items like cucumber or onions. It makes a fresh, crispy and crunchy treat.
  4. It is often used to make vegetable stews, with other vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and onions.

Knol khol is best stored when they are refrigerated at a humidity of about 90% and normal refrigeration temperatures. If you are not planning to use the kohlrabi soon, then avoid peeling it. In contrast to other vegetables, it has a long storage capacity. You may also chop it into small pieces, and keep it in a plastic bag or a sealed container and refrigerate it in the required conditions. This keeps it fresh and healthy. You can store it to about 5 days.

Medicinal benefits
Kohlrabi has a rich content of nutrients and vitamins. Its nutrient content is summarized below:

  1. It has a rich content of anti-oxidants. This helps a great deal to fight cancer.
  2. It has a high content of dietary fiber. This helps in the smooth and effective functioning of your digestive system. It also cleanses your body.
  3. It makes the immune system of your body stronger, by stimulating certain enzymes which makes your immune system stronger, due to the presence of compounds in it like isothiocyanates and sulphoraphanes.
  4. It helps in curing diabetes. You should have a cup of an aqueous extract of this vegetable every morning if you are a diabetic patient.
  5. It has negligible amount of fats and calories, and has 0% cholesterol. Thus, it is very good for obese patients and those who are trying to slim down.
  6. It has a rich content of beta-carotene (rich source of Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Vitamin E. It contains ascorbic acid, which is a rich source of Vitamin C, and is also an anti-oxidant. It helps to kill harmful radicals in your body, thus fighting cancer. It is especially effective in curing colon cancers.

Where to buy Kohlrabi in US
In USA, knol khol is not very widely known. It is not grown in many places. Most of it is exported. Some of the kohlrabi is grown in Palmer in Alaska.

Nutritional and dietary information
Kohlrabi is rich in nutrients. Its nutrient content is summarized below:

  1. Vital vitamins for the human body, like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 ( Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid). It is also rich in folate.
  2. Protein and dietary fiber.
  3. It has a low content of fats and almost 0% cholesterol.
  4. It contains beta-carotene, which is a rich source of Vitamin A.
  5. It is rich in minerals and electrolytes like Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc and Selenium.

From all the above facts, you must really want to know why this crop is not being grown in USA in a much larger scale. Don’t worry you will get it at the nearest supermarket.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 100g
Calories 27
Sodium 1%
Potassium 7%
Total Carbohydrate 5%
Dietary Fiber 10%
Protein 3%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 102%
Iron 5%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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