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Kohlrabi: The Unsung Hero of the Keto Diet

September 2, 2023

Kohlrabi might not be the first vegetable that comes to mind when planning a keto-friendly meal. But, this humble member of the brassica family, often overlooked, is packed with incredible health benefits and can be a wonderful addition to your keto journey. For those on the “AimKetoDiet,” it’s high time to become familiar with kohlrabi.

What is Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is a round, tuberous vegetable that resembles a turnip but grows above ground. Its taste is somewhere between a mild radish and a crisp broccoli stem. It comes in green or purple varieties and can be consumed raw, roasted, sautéed, or steamed.

Why is Kohlrabi Keto-Friendly?

  1. Low in Carbs: One of the main criteria for a vegetable to be keto-friendly is its carbohydrate content. Kohlrabi contains just 6 grams of carbs per 100 grams, making it an excellent choice for those keeping their carb intake low.
  2. Rich in Fiber: The dietary fiber in kohlrabi can aid in digestion, making you feel full for longer. This is especially beneficial for those on the keto diet, looking to maintain satiety between meals.

Health Benefits of Kohlrabi

  1. Nutrient Powerhouse: Kohlrabi is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, which is vital for collagen production, iron absorption, and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
  2. Boosts Digestive Health: It’s rich in dietary fiber, which aids in preventing constipation, reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases like colorectal cancer, and promoting overall gut health.
  3. Supports Immune System: Its high vitamin C content can aid in bolstering your immune defenses, helping your body fight off infections.
  4. Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Kohlrabi is a great source of these antioxidants, particularly glucosinolates, which have been shown to have potential anti-cancer properties.
  5. Supports Healthy Vision: Kohlrabi contains phytonutrients like zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to promote good vision and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
  6. Boosts Metabolism: With a good dose of B vitamins, kohlrabi can help support and regulate a healthy metabolism, making it easier for your body to use energy efficiently.

Incorporating Kohlrabi into Your Keto Diet

Kohlrabi is versatile and can be used in various dishes. Consider adding it raw to salads for a refreshing crunch, roast it with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, or spiralize it to make kohlrabi noodles as a low-carb alternative to pasta.

Ways to Enjoy Kohlrabi on AimKetoDiet

Kohlrabi Fries: If you’re missing the crunch and satisfaction of a good old-fashioned fry, look no further. Slice kohlrabi into fry-like sticks, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other preferred seasonings. Bake until golden and crispy. Pair with a keto-friendly dip or sauce, and you’ve got a delightful snack.

Kohlrabi Slaw: Grate kohlrabi and mix it with thinly sliced red cabbage, carrots, and a keto-friendly mayonnaise dressing. Throw in some pumpkin seeds for added crunch and sprinkle with fresh herbs. It’s a refreshing side dish that pairs beautifully with grilled meats.

Kohlrabi Soup: With a creamy texture and a flavor that shines when cooked, turning kohlrabi into a soup is a delicious decision. Combine it with other keto-friendly ingredients like onions, garlic, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Blend until smooth and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some toasted seeds on top.

Stuffed Kohlrabi: Hollow out the kohlrabi bulbs and stuff them with a mixture of ground meat, herbs, and keto-friendly seasonings. Bake until the kohlrabi is tender and the meat is cooked through. It’s a delicious, self-contained meal that’s sure to impress.

Storage and Selection Tips

When selecting kohlrabi at the market, look for bulbs that are firm and free from deep cuts or significant blemishes. Smaller bulbs tend to be more tender and flavorful than larger ones. The leaves should be crisp and vibrant, a sign of freshness.

To store kohlrabi, remove the leaves (which can be cooked separately like kale or collard greens) and place the bulbs in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They should stay fresh for several weeks.

The Bottom Line

Kohlrabi, while often underrated, stands out not just for its unique taste and texture but for the myriad health benefits it brings, especially to those on a keto diet. As you explore new recipes and dishes to keep your keto journey exciting, remember to consider this unsung hero of the vegetable world. Its adaptability in various dishes is a testament to its versatility, making it easy to incorporate into daily meals.

So, whether you’re aiming to switch things up with a new ingredient or want to dive deeper into the world of keto-friendly veggies, kohlrabi awaits to grace your plate and invigorate your diet. Happy cooking!

Nutrition Facts of Kohlrabi

When it comes to nutrition, kohlrabi is nothing short of impressive. It’s a low-calorie vegetable, making it an ideal choice for those aiming for weight loss or maintaining a caloric deficit. To provide a deeper insight into this vegetable’s nutritional profile, let’s break down its key components.

Vitamins

Kohlrabi is a treasure trove of essential vitamins that support various body functions:

  1. Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant, vitamin C is crucial for the synthesis of collagen, wound healing, and the absorption of iron. A 100-gram serving of kohlrabi provides more than 60% of the recommended daily intake.
  2. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): This vitamin plays a crucial role in brain development and function. It also aids in the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, and melatonin, which regulates the body’s internal clock.
  3. Vitamin K: Known for its role in blood clotting, vitamin K also supports bone health by aiding in the metabolism of calcium in the bones.

Minerals

Kohlrabi is equally rich in essential minerals:

  1. Potassium: Vital for maintaining proper heart and muscle function, potassium also helps balance fluids in the body and counteracts the effects of too much sodium.
  2. Calcium: While mostly associated with bone health, calcium also aids in muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
  3. Magnesium: Essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium supports muscle and nerve function, maintains steady heart rhythm, and aids in bone strength.
  4. Iron: Critical for the creation of red blood cells, iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body.

Carbs

Being a low-carb vegetable, kohlrabi is an excellent choice for those following the keto diet. A 100-gram serving contains only about 6 grams of carbs, most of which come from sugars and complex carbohydrates. The low carbohydrate content means it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, making it suitable for diabetics and those watching their carb intake.

Fiber

Fiber plays a pivotal role in digestion, and kohlrabi is a great source. A 100-gram serving offers around 3.6 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber from kohlrabi helps increase satiety, reduce cholesterol levels, and promote healthy bowel movements. Including kohlrabi in your meals can thus contribute significantly to your daily fiber intake, promoting gut health and aiding digestion.

Conclusion

Kohlrabi, with its mild taste and crunchy texture, not only brings variety to the table but also a host of nutritional benefits. With its abundance of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber – all while being low in carbs – this vegetable proves to be a vital ingredient for anyone, especially those on the keto diet. Dive into the goodness of kohlrabi and give your body the nutrition it deserves.

Whether you’re a seasoned keto dieter or just starting on your journey, kohlrabi is a vegetable you’ll want to keep on your radar. Its impressive health benefits combined with its low carb content make it a perfect fit for the keto lifestyle. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market, give kohlrabi a try and enrich your diet with this nutritious powerhouse.

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