Kohlrabi: History, Selection, Nutrition Benefits, Description, Facts, and Growth

Kohlrabi: History, Selection, Nutrition Benefits, Description, Facts, and Growth


The light green or purple vegetable kohlrabi commonly referred to as a German turnip is closely related to cabbage and other Brassica plants. It resembles a hot air balloon somewhat and grows only slightly above the ground. Northeastern Europe is where kohlrabi first appeared, and it eventually expanded over the globe. It is now a widely used component in many different types of cuisine around the world, including those from German-speaking nations, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and the United States. The mild flavour of kohlrabi is comparable to that of turnips and broccoli stems. The kohlrabi bulb is typically eaten, but the leaves are also edible.


German is most likely where kohlrabi first appeared in northwest Europe. The words “kohl” (which means cabbage) and “rube” (which means turnip) are combined to form the name “kohlrabi.” ‘Cabbage turnip’ is how the word ‘kohlrabi’ is translated. Being a member of the cabbage family with a huge edible bulb that resembles a turnip, the name “kohlrabi” is highly suitable. Kohlrabi isn’t a root vegetable, though, like the turnip is. It is the stem, not the root system, that contains the huge bulb. By the early 1600s, kohlrabi was being produced in Germany, England, Italy, and Spain, but it was not until the 1800s that it reached the United States. According to records, kohlrabi has been a popular vegetable in the US since 1806. Although not a very common crop in the US, kohlrabi can be found in supermarkets, particularly in the late summer and early fall.

German turnip


Even while kohlrabi can be cooked and added to soups and other recipes, it is more frequently eaten raw in slices. It also tastes finest when plucked while still young. The flavour of large, older kohlrabi is typically unpleasant and it is rough and woody. Young kohlrabi, on the other hand, retains its apple-like crisp, juicy texture when consumed raw. While some say kohlrabi tastes like a cross between cucumber and broccoli, others say it tastes like a turnip.

Nutrition Benefits

A strong source of vitamin B6, potassium, and copper, kohlrabi is also a great source of vitamin C. The metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates is significantly influenced by vitamin B6. Kohlrabi is abundant in dietary fibre, which like other cruciferous vegetables, regulates digestion and enhances nutritional absorption.


A kohlrabi’s exterior can be either light green or purple depending on the cultivar. The interior of a kohlrabi bulb is white, though, once the outer covering has been peeled away. The sizes of various kohlrabi types will also vary.


Kohlrabi is a type of cabbage from the mustard family (Brassicaceae) that is produced for its tasty, larger stem. The expansion of the kohlrabi is best collected for food when it is 5-6 cm (2-2.5 inches) in diameter. The kohlrabi’s flesh is comparable to turnip flesh but is sweeter and milder. Although not frequently cultivated commercially, kohlrabi is popular in some areas as a home garden vegetable and is also used for stock feed in Europe. Both the thicker stem and the young, fragile leaves can be cooked and eaten as vegetables.

A biennial plant known as kohlrabi is typically grown as a cool-season annual. The swelling stem is where the waxy lobed or wavy leaves with long petioles emerge (leaf stems). Depending on the cultivar, the edible stem might be green, white, or purple. When allowed to reach maturity, the plant produces clusters of tiny yellow blooms with four petals; these elongated fruits are referred to as siliques.

Life Cycle: Biennial

Harvesting: Complete branches can be chopped off or whole plants can be harvested to get seeds. The collected material should be put on drop cloths or in containers to prevent seed loss because this species tends to break.

Cleaning and Processing: Mature fruit branches can be threshed by rubbing the fragile pods in one’s hands or by banging them against any surface that will make the fruits burst open. When the pods are threshed, they will easily release their seeds if they are dry.

Storage and Viability: To keep out moisture and humidity, store kohlrabi seeds in an airtight container in a cold, dark, and dry location. Kohlrabi seeds that are stored properly can last for several years.


1. You can pick and prepare kohlrabi leaves.

2. There are two main colours of kohlrabi: purple and white.

3. In reality, white kohlrabi is a pale green hue. Purple kohlrabi leaves are used as a garnish by European chefs.

4. Before eating, little kohlrabi bulbs do not require peeling.

5. The vegetables cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are relatives of kohlrabi.

6. Asia has embraced kohlrabi, which is used in Indian cuisine. A good source of potassium and vitamin C is kohlrabi.

How to Grow Kohlrabi

The German turnip or turnip cabbage known as kohlrabi was developed through selection for an expanded edible stem. The plant’s edible portion is either green or purple and can be consumed raw or cooked.

Time of Planting: Seeds can be started indoors a few weeks before the last frost and then transplanted outside, or they can be seeded outside right after the last frost. Direct sow kohlrabi seeds 90 days or so before the first day of frost if you’re growing it in the fall. Transplant kohlrabi seedlings outdoors in the spring around one to two weeks before the last frost date in your area.

Spacing Requirements: Insert kohlrabi seeds 14 inches deep. 9 to 12 inches should separate plants.

Time to Germination: 3–10 days for germination

Special Considerations: Kohlrabi does not grow well in loose soil, so consider this.

Common Pests and Diseases: Flea beetles and other pests are attracted to kohlrabi. By putting a thin row cover over kohlrabi plants, it is simple to keep these pests away.

Harvest: Kohlrabi plants should be harvested when the bulbs are 3 inches in diameter. Cut the stem just above the surface of the soil.

Eating: There are numerous ways to prepare kohlrabi bulbs. The bulb of kohlrabi can be finely minced and used in soups, while the raw vegetable can be shredded and used in salads. Soups may also contain steamed kohlrabi. A delicious winter delicacy is a roasted kohlrabi, which may also be cooked into fritters or vegetable pancakes. Young kohlrabi greens are also edible. Storage: Kohlrabi can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks.

How to Save Kohlrabi Seeds

A variety of different crop kinds, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, are members of the Brassica oleracea species, which also includes kohlrabi. Because of this, isolation must be carefully controlled, but because the majority of them are biennials and won’t flower until their second season, a gardener can cultivate several types for eating while also growing one variety for seed preservation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the best way to eat kohlrabi?

Ans: Every part can be consumed both raw and cooked.

Question: Can kohlrabi be eaten raw?

Ans: Yes

Question: Is kohlrabi good for constipation?

Ans: Yes

Question: Will kohlrabi grow back after harvesting?

Ans: If you leave the stem’s lower portion in the ground, then yes.

Question: Can you eat the whole kohlrabi?

Ans: Yes

Question: Can dogs eat kohlrabi?

Ans: Yes

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