By Valerie Wilson
Spring has sprung, and it is time to start cooking with the signature tastes and vegetables for the season. Two such vegetables are asparagus and kohlrabi. Most people are familiar with asparagus, and it is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. Being one of the first vegetables to appear above ground in the spring, it is known for its healing properties for the liver, and springtime is associated with healing this organ. Asparagus can help improve liver enzymes, protect against fat buildup in the liver, and can help protect your liver cells from the toxicity of excess alcohol. Plus, asparagus has vitamins A, E, C, and K, iron, high fiber, potassium, and zinc, and is high in an antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione plays a major role in detoxifying foreign substances from our body and may protect against cancer.
Kohlrabi, may not be a familiar vegetable; it is from the cabbage family. It is a round root vegetable with a tough greenish skin, and if it is fresh, it will have the greens still attached, and they look like small collard greens (another vegetable in the cabbage family). When using kohlrabi, you need to peel the vegetable because the skin is tough. You can also use the leaves if you desire; they are great cut up in a soup. Kohlrabi is very high in calcium, fiber, and potassium. Plus, it contains vitamins A, B complex, C, and K, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Kohlrabi is good for digestion and weight loss, helps boost energy, regulates blood pressure, strengthens bones and eye health, and has anti-cancer properties. It has a milder taste than a turnip and a texture like a rutabaga.
Sweet and Sour Asparagus and Kohlrabi
1/2 lb. asparagus (cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 carrot (cut into matchsticks)
1 kohlrabi bulb (peeled and cut into cubes)
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 T. arrowroot
3 T. brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp. dried ginger
pinch allspice and pinch sea salt
Steam each of the vegetables, one at a time, until fork tender, asparagus approx., 4 minutes, carrots approx. 5 minutes, kohlrabi approx. 6 minutes. Place steamed vegetables in a saucepan. Whisk together all the ingredients, and pour over vegetables. On a low heat, slowly heat all the vegetables and sauce. The arrowroot will thicken the sauce as it heats up. Once the sauce has thickened, the dish is done, and you can serve and enjoy.