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Radishes: History, Nutritional Value and What Makes them Hot

As you bite into a crisp spicy radish you are enjoying a vegetable that has been grown around the world for thousands of years.

You’ll still find wild relatives of radishes in China. Egyptian writings indicate they grew them before the pyramids were built. They used radish seed oil before the introduction of olive oil. The radish made its way to Britain in the mid-16th century and the United States around 1629.    

This is a relative of turnip, cabbage, broccoli and even horseradish. Its scientific name Raphanus is from the Greek and means quickly appearing. Plant some seeds and in as few as 30 days you will be enjoying fresh radishes.  Or try roasting a few for a more savory flavor.

Radishes are high in Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. These vegetables grow best, develop better roots and have less heat when grown and harvest during cooler weather.

A bit more information:  Here is my favorite recipe for roasted radishes. Slice 24 radishes into thin ¼” rounds, mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove when the radishes shrink and edges are brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve warm. I found this recipe in the November 2014 Oprah Magazine.

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