Have you ever tasted daikon? The daikon ( Raphanus sativus ) is a root with a pungent taste that recalls the taste of radish. It is no coincidence that it is also known as winter radish, Chinese or Japanese radish.
The origin of this root vegetable is Asian. In Asia, different varieties are grown. The use of daikon is popular especially in Japanese cuisine , where it is served in a salad or to accompany traditional dishes, including miso soup. In the East, daikon is also identified as “white carrot”. Its shape resembles that of carrots but usually the dimensions are much larger.
It is a vegetable often present in the recipes of macrobiotic cuisine . It is now also grown in Italy , where it is mainly used raw in the preparation of salads or cooked in soups. It is a very popular vegetable also in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine but its use as a culinary ingredient is spreading gradually also in Europe.
Daikon, properties and benefits
The daikon root boasts several recognized properties and health benefits:
- Source of Vitamin C:Maybe you didn’t know that daikon is an important source of Vitamin C. This vitamin deteriorates with heat and cooking. So from the point of view of the vitamin supply we can think of alternating the consumption of daikon in raw or cooked version.
- Source of mineral salts: we cannot forget that daikon is also a source of mineral salts , among which we mainly find calcium and iron. It is also a source of beta carotene, a substance useful for protecting the eyes and skin.
- Rich in fiber:daikon is rich in these beneficial substances that promote the proper functioning of the intestine and help our body in the elimination of toxins.
- Digestive:it is a root that promotes digestion, eating daikon at the beginning of the meal can therefore help those who have stomach problems.
- Diuretic and draining:daikon has diuretic and draining properties. Its consumption is recommended above all to facilitate the purification of our organs.
- Detox: itis considered a beneficial food especially for the liver and is often recommended in detox diets.
- For the well-being of the respiratory tract:the consumption of daikon is considered useful as a natural remedy in case of respiratory diseases, since it helps to free the airways from the accumulation of typical mucus, for example, of the cold or sinusitis.
Daikon, nutritional values and calories
Daikon is a very healthy and light vegetable. Those on a calorie restricted diet may take this into account to increase vegetable consumption. In fact 100 grams of daikon bring only about 18 calories to our body .
As regards the nutritional values, refer to the following table, always relative to 100 grams.
- Fat 0.1 g
- Saturated fatty acids 0 g
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0 g
- Monounsaturated fatty acids 0 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 21 mg
- Potassium 227 mg
- Carbohydrates 4.1 g
- Dietary fiber 1.6 g
- Sugar 2,5 g
- Protein 0.6 g
- Vitamin A 0 IU
- Vitamin C 22 mg
- Calcium 27 mg
- Iron 0.4 mg
- Magnesium 16 mg
How to cook Daikon: use
In the kitchen, daikon can be used both raw (excellent grated but also diced) and cooked. For example, experience it in:
- sauté in a pan as a side dish alone or together with other vegetables or tubers
You can also try an original centrifuged based on daikon, carrot apple and fennel .
The consumption of daikon is not limited only to the actual vegetable but also to the sprouts obtained from its seeds. Vegetable sprouts are very rich in vitamins and minerals. We can easily prepare them at home from a sprout and with organic seeds.
The daikon sprouts are eaten raw. Organic seeds for growing sprouts are easily found in natural product stores. Daikon sprouts stimulate metabolism, digestion, as well as being a source of vitamin C and B vitamins. Here are some useful tips for growing daikon and daikon sprouts.