Radishes come in several sizes and shapes and are available all around the world. The horseradish’s gnarled brown root to the classical red round radishes, and from black Spanish Radishes to the widely available watermelon radish (bright pink inside, green on the outside), you can see various varieties of this veggie. And not to mention the daikon radishes, mellow-flavored, adequately large, and cream-colored.
You can roast and cook the daikon radishes, and they taste great raw in salads as well. You can even use them in kimchi. Radishes have a very ancient history, and before building their pyramids, the ancient Egyptians domesticated radishes. And they used radish oil before the discovery of olive oil as a part of their diet. Moreover, the name ‘radish’ comes from radix (a Latin word), which means root.
Radishes, edible root vegetables, have a scientific name Raphanussativus. Commonly, they have a round shape but can be more tapered and elongated as well. Radishes are cruciferous vegetables belonging to the brassica family like broccoli and kale. It has multiple varieties, and all of them have some degree of a peppery bite.
When it comes to growing, radishes do not require a lot of work, and they offer a quick harvest. They help in keeping away other garden pests and are not expensive at all. You will find radishes in various cuisines due to their worldwide availability. You can eat them raw or cook them as well, and the best thing is that it is quite easy to prepare or clean radishes.
How Does a Radish Taste?
All radishes give a crunchy and crispy bite. The flavor of radish ranges from slight and mild peppery to full-on spicy, varying from type to type. However, the taste has a range even within varieties, depending upon growing the conditions, weather, and several other variables.
Generally, the French fingerlings, red radishes, and globe-shaped daikons have a milder taste, while black radishes provide an extraordinarily sharp peppery bite when consumed raw.
Types of Radish
There are several distinct types of radishes, and they all have their unique flavor and look. Their colorful appearance, tongue-tickling sharpness, and crunchy texture make them an ideal vegetable for finishing various savory dishes. However, the uses of radishes are much more than only a handsome garnishing.
We have gathered a few common and well-known types of radishes here. And if you want to stock up radishes, then go for good quality and air-tight food containers. It will add weeks to the longevity of them.
1. Daikon (White Radish)
You must have seen this monster of the produce aisle in an Asian supermarket. The carrot-shaped, white Daikons are native to East Asia and grow to over a foot in length. They are the staple of East Asia but are long-established in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. Daikon white radish has a sweet flavor, but it is a bit too thorny when consumed raw.
2. White Hailstone Radish
White hailstone radish resembles golf balls with lush green and long leaves. They are mild, crunchy, and incredibly versatile. If you want to grow radish in your garden, then these are the ones to consider. White hailstone radishes are equally exceptional as a fermented, cooked with, or raw snack.
3. Watermelon Radish
You may be wondering why they called watermelon when there is no resemblance between the two. Watermelon radishes are more beige than green from the outside, and the name has nothing to do with their taste. However, when you will cut the watermelon radish and open it, you will be struck by its color. It has an astonishingly hot pink color radiating from the center, pretty good to enhance the dining dishes.
Watermelon radish, which originated from China, tastes so good and is relatively sweet, mild, and juicy, but cut with a peppery note.
4. Malaga Radish
The Malaga radish, just like watermelon radish, is the fancy veggie of the genus and is vivid white from inside. Externally, Malaga radish is a beauty with an appealingly deep purple outer implicative of beetroot. It is crispy, and if the spice of other radishes is a bit overwhelming for you, then the Malaga radishes are appropriate for you since they are earthy, mild, and sweet.
5. French Breakfast Radish
The Europeans are familiar with this type of radish, and they are mistaken for the more spherical and common pink variety. Compared to the Asian varieties, French breakfast radishes are smaller and stumpy oblongs. On the color spectrum, they fall somewhere between red and fuchsia. French breakfast radishes are suitable for snacking as they are mild and crisp.
As their name suggests, you can rinse and toss them onto your brunch plate to add color and nutrition. Moreover, leaves of French breakfast radishes are edible and can add a pleasant bitterness to your mixed leaf salads.
Some of the other varieties include black Spanish radish, Chinese green luobo radish, crimson giant radish, cherry belle radish, Chinese red meat radish, cherriette radish, Chinese shawo fruit radish, Easter egg radish, German giant radish, horseradish, Zlata radish, fire and ice radish, and many more.
Health Benefits of Radish
Radishes are very substantial for health as they contain essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, they are low in calories and helps in weight loss. Radishes also prevent piles, lowers blood pressure, enhances cardiovascular health, and regulates diabetes.
1. Helps Indigestion
Radishes help relieve the symptoms of constipation as they are rich in fiber. A 2008 study proposes that the radish leaves help to get rid of the diarrhea symptoms. Furthermore, it helps heal gastrointestinal infections and promotes bile production that is one of the most crucial parts of healthy digestion. It also helps to assist both the gallbladder and the liver.
2. Anticancer Properties
According to the 2010 study, the root extract of radish consists of many kinds of isothiocyanates that led to cell death in a few cancer cell lines. Therefore, consuming radishes may prevent cancer. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, cruciferous vegetables like radishes contain several compounds. And when these compounds combine with water, they broke down into isothiocyanates.
Isothiocyanates prevent tumor development and help clear out the body of cancer-causing substances.
3. Weight Loss
Due to the filling effect, radishes are great when you are trying to lose weight. They satisfy your hunger without increasing the calorie count and contain good water content, high insoluble fiber, and low indigestible carbohydrates.
Moreover, radishes regulate bowel movements as they are low on the glycemic index and high in fiber. And thereby increase the efficiency of metabolism and help in weight loss.
How to Store Radish?
When buying radish, always go for the fresh ones from the farmers market because they can last for a long time (weeks). You can store them in the refrigerator, and they will remain well. Start by removing the greens and store your radishes unwashed in the crisper drawer with a damp paper towel in a plastic zip-close bag.
Convert the radishes into pickles, and it will let you create longer shelf/storage life. You can ferment or include them in primary homemade sauerkraut.
Radishes not only have several types, but they have a lot of health benefits as well. They are well-liked all around the world and available at all the local markets. So, the next time you want to make yourself a bowl of healthy salad, don’t forget to add radish to it.