Backyard grocery store: love, grow and eat red radish
Cold climate is perfect for radish
Maybe you love gardening just as much as I do. Maybe you love fresh vegetables and sprouts?
Maybe you just want to save money while eating top-quality food. Whatever the reason, radishes are great starting plant in the backyard. It grows in quite cold soil and it will grow even when it is almost minus degrees. In fact, radish likes cold climate. Once radish comes up, you can consume also the young leaves since they have the same nutritional value that the vegetable has.You can start radish as soon as the soil is ready to use. It only takes a few weeks and you can already consume it.
Greens and red radish: picturesque and delicious combination
Radish goes well with other early spring greens, for instance green onions or chives. Chives are up as soon as snow melts and the soil has just somewhat warmed up. Chives are also perennial, and you will enjoy them every spring once they are planted. Chives and green onions grow like weeds, no special conditions are required. The only requirement all these plants have is generous watering unless you have many rainy days. Radish will never be at its best quality if it has suffered from dry conditions.
Great nutrients without much effort
What is the value of radish and greens? Huge. It not only tastes fresh and great, but it is also very low in calories, but very high in minerals and vitamins. Red radish contains vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K, and it is high on antioxidants. Radish has also fiber, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, copper. Young radish has milder taste, overgrown radish turns into fibrous indigestible matter. Therefore, we consume the red radish while bright red and juicy with bright white flesh.
Undeniable health benefits at no cost
Any fresh spring greens, especially absolutely organic greens as from your own garden, will contribute big time to immune system and provide with necessary vitamins and minerals. As I wrote before, each vegetable, each herb comes with its own unique, digestion-friendly complex of beneficial nutrients. Therefore, greens and early vegetables 100% beat the benefits one gets from synthetic and artificial supplements. Plus, they are clean of harmful chemicals and pesticides.
If you live in a large city
I feel sorry for everybody, who cannot keep distance from others during this pandemic. Especially, if your place is in a high rise, there is much less opportunity to have fresh and clean air, fresh (as from garden) vegetables, fruits and herbs. People with balconies can still devote some large pots, plastic bags (large size with holes for air) or boxes for planting herbs, greens and easy to grow vegetables. It depends on many things whether it will turn out as a great undertaking. Container gardens do not take much time. It’s spent mostly on planting and later regular watering.
Use time wisely and go for vegetable gardening
Most people have plenty of time this spring. Why not to go outside, dig up some area, add fresh top soil and seed something good for you? It is a nice exercise, fresh air and good food. Perfect combination!
Radish seeds can be also colored or attached to a tape, but they are not that tiny and quite easy to put in soil. Radish seeds should be spaced right away because it will not like being taken out and replanted.
Extra simple and extra healthy recipes
I like extra simple recipes which save me time and efforts.
Thinly sliced radish is great as topping on bread which you cover with some butter, cottage cheese plus cream and pinch of salt and pepper.
It goes well in any salad which contains lettuce and cucumber, dill and green onion.
You can always add hard boiled and sliced egg.
Extra simple salad of radish with leaves:
10 radishes with leaves, we use just the freshest and smallest; sliced, but radish leaves, dill and green onion are finely chopped, pour over kefir dressing, add 3 quartered hard-boiled eggs on top of mixed salad
All greens and radish salad
Bunch of carefully rinsed and washed chickweed, young dandelion leaves, soaked in strong salt water for 0.5 hours, washed; arugula or lettuce, 6-8 radishes with small, young leaves, dill, green onion, 1 clove garlic, salt, pepper to your liking. We thinly slice radish and finely chop any greens and garlic. Very small leaves do not need any chopping. Stir, pour over kefir, mix of kefir and sour cream or mustard dressing.
I never measure anything and use any variations of ingredients depending on what I have. Basically, one needs to feel what goes with what and use common sense. These recipes are what I would make for us. I haven’t included extra detailed handling instructions because I believe that everybody knows how to make some salad.
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard, I use Keen’s hot mustard because I like it, but you can replace it with any other you prefer
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp liquid honey
Salt and small bit of paprika powder
Feel free to improvise with radish and any early greens, including weeds.
I do add radish to quickly broiled smoked salmon salad along with cucumber, greens, arugula, dandelion leaves or baby lettuce. Extremely delicious! Use balsamic vinegar dressing.
That is such a vitamin boost. It will contribute to your immune system which we need right now and leave feeling more energized every time you have eaten it. Early spring greens with radishes will also cost you nothing if you put seeds in soil right now.
Never eat lots of radish since eating huge amounts might irritate stomach. Realistically, never eat anything in large amounts.
Stay safe and healthy!