You know it’s summertime when you go to the grocery and see an abundance of radishes in the vegetable section. Radishes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and when you see them, you can’t help but think forward to how crisp and wonderful they’ll be when you bit into them. Luckily, these vegetables are also very easy to grow in your backyard. If you have the space and the penchant for it, growing radishes yourself will allow you to have them anytime you crave them. Radishes are good sources of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, and they’ve got a distinct, earthy taste. Unfortunately, the fresh, crispness of radishes doesn’t last very long unless you know how to keep them that way.
Here are some tips to help your radishes retain their freshness for as long as possible.
- If you plan to purchase and store your radishes for longer than two weeks, the best way to keep them fresh is to store them in a way that’s similar to their normal growing conditions. Keeping your picked radishes buried in moist soil can do just the trick. You can take a pot or a bowl, fill it with moist soil, bury your radishes, then store them in a cool spot such as your basement. This may not be the most practical option since you can always get fresh radishes in the grocery store or grow radishes yourself, but it is an option for those who might need it.
- Remove the tops of your radishes as soon as you get them. Leaving the leaves on will result in a loss of nutrients, and your radishes will dry up quickly. You can always make use of the radish greens as well; they add a nice, earthy touch to salads and can be stir-fried with other greens. Once you’ve taken the tops off, you can store the radishes as is, even with the dirt on them. They will last a few weeks this way during the cooler months. Place them in an airtight bag or a Ziploc bag for future use. Remember to clean them before using them.
- If you prefer to clean your radishes before storage, you may do so, but make sure to store them in cold water when placing in the fridge. You can store your radishes this way for up to a week, and you’re guaranteed to have crisp and juicy radishes until then.
- There’s another way to have fresh radishes stay fresh longer. If you like pickling or are willing to try it, you can make pickled radishes as an option. Pickled radishes will retain the crispness and freshness of the vegetables with the addition of a pickled flavor. The main ingredient you’ll need is vinegar – either white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. You can supplement this with another flavor if you like such as spice. You can use red pepper flakes for heat, black peppercorns for a peppery finish, garlic cloves, or any other spice you prefer. Don’t forget to add salt to finish it off. Make sure to cut your radishes on the thicker side, maybe an eighth of an inch, so you can get that nice crisp bite.
Fresh radishes are great in salads. They not only give salads a nice color, but their distinct flavor just adds depth and variety to a typical salad. You can slice them or even cut them in small cubes for a different look. You can keep the peel on or take it off completely. Radishes are also very susceptible to flavor; putting them in vinegar will give them a nice tang, much like if you pickled them, or you can just have a mostly radish salad with some flavored oil and vinegar as well. They are good to snack on, as they’re healthy and easy to pack. If you wish, you can also cook with them. Radishes can be braised with their greens on or even added to pot roast for a nice flavor. Whatever it is you do with radishes, it’s always better to have them nice and fresh. These tips should help with keeping them so. This way you can eat radishes the way you’re meant to eat them – fresh and crisp!