Radishes: The New Springtime Staple

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.

Radishes are the perfect accompaniment to any meal during the springtime. They are crunchy, refreshing, and cooling. Radishes have a ton of health benefits but are typically under-appreciated – left over on crudité platters and left aside on dinner plates.

However, for both their health benefits and crisp flavors, radishes are a food you should think about eating more often. Especially in the spring and early summer when they grow locally and can be picked at their height of freshness and flavor, radishes should be a staple item in your kitchen.

With almost 20 different varieties of radishes, you have a plentitude of textures and colors to choose from.  In what ways can radishes be prepared? They can be boiled, roasted, braised, pickled, or eaten raw.  

What are some health benefits of radishes? 

1. Naturally cooling

Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.

2. Sooth sore throats

Their bitter flavor and natural spice can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes aid in clearing sinus congestions and soothe soar throats.

3. Aids digestion

Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate indigestion food and toxins built up over time.

4. Prevents viral infections

Radishes high vitamin C content and natural cleansing effects, regular consumption of radishes can help prevent viral infections.

5. Eliminates toxins

In Eastern and Ayurvedic healing practices radishes are said to have effective toxin-purging effects, helping break down and eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

Below are three types of radishes and how they can be prepared:

he most common radish you may find at your local grocery store is the pink beauty radish. I love adding these to my salads, and on top of tacos.

Daikon radishes taste great in salads, either grated or sliced. As well as being slowly cooked and mixed in with other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions in a vegetable broth.  They are also delicious when used to make a slaw by substituting the cabbage.  You can roast daikon as well - just add it to your pot roast or roasted veggies. 

Horseradish has a very bitter and spicy flavor. It’s great when made into a condiment.  I’ll use horseradish instead of eating the questionable green wasabi with my sushi. It tastes great when spread on to sandwiches or eaten with roast beef and potato’s and will add an extra zing to your meal. You can add a teaspoon to your salad dressing or add it to your eggs and salsa in the morning. If you are a spicy food fanatic, you will definitely appreciate their pungent flavor.