Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daikon another Cancer Fighting Veggie

Freshly harvested Daikon.
One of the new things we tried in our garden this year was Daikon. I was very excited for our first harvest and went in search of some ways to prepare this new vegetable. As with all new veggies I had to try it raw first. I assumed from reading about it that it was going to be bitter and it was very bitter. But, I learned some things about how to prepare it in a way that takes some of the bitterness out of it. Here are a couple of ways that I prepared this new vegetable.

Stir Fried Daikon and Carrots

1 lb. Carrots - Peeled and Julienned
1/2 lb. Daikon -Peeled and Julienned
1 Tb. Olive Oil
1 to 2 cloves minced Garlic

After you julienne your Daikon put it in a colander and sprinkle it with about 2 tsp. salt. Let it rest over a bowl for about 30 minutes. The salt will pull some of the bitter juice out of the daikon.  Then rinse the daikon really well and pat dry with some paper towel. In a skillet, heat the oil and then add the garlic, carrots, and daikon. Stir fry about ten minutes or until the veggies reach desired tenderness.  I really liked this dish, and the sweetness of the carrots made a great combo with the bitterness of the daikon.

Sweet Pickled Daikon

1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/8 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 lb. Daikon Radish
1 to 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tb. Salt

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and turmeric. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. While your bring is cooling peel and slice your daikon into 1/4 inch rounds. Place your daikon in a colander with the salt, using the same method as in the above recipe.  Place your Daikon in a clean 1/2 pint jar, along with the minced garlic. Pour the brine over the top. Refrigerate overnight. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I thought these were pretty good, still a little bitter, but I enjoyed them. The rest of the family didn't really care for them, however. This recipe is my own version of several that I looked at but a lot of them had the Daikon being pickled along with carrots, which I think sounds yummy and something I will try with the next harvest. I have also read that Daikon greens are really delicious and mild, even raw in a salad, so I will be trying that soon as well. 

Here is something great I learned about daikon:

"Daikon is a source of vitamin C and contains kaempferol, an antioxidant that could slow down the development of certain cancers. This exotic vegetable also supplies isothiocyanates, chemical compounds that could reduce the development of malignant tumours. Some studies have even advanced the idea that daikon could improve digestion."

I have lots of cancer in my family coming from both my mother and father's side of the family so I am always trying to increase the amount of good cancer fighting foods in my diet. It looks like I just found another one and it was super easy to grow.

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