Kohlrabi may not be on the list of vegetables for your baby to try, but due to its mild taste, it’s a great option. It is also known as a German turnip or turnip cabbage (which is exactly what it looks like). It is related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens (1).
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, making it very versatile. It’s often described as similar to a broccoli stem, but it’s a bit milder and sweeter. You generally need to remove the outer layers prior to eating as they don’t soften much when cooked.
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How to Serve Kohlrabi to Babies
Due to its texture, kohlrabi can be a difficult texture for babies. Cooking it to make it soft will make it much easier for babies to safely eat. Once your baby gets a bit older, you can safely offer it raw by shredding it.
Kohlrabi can also work as a substitute for potato in some recipes. If your baby likes potato, you can try subbing in kohlrabi as a way to offer it.
Kohlrabi is a great source of vitamin C, which can help babies better absorb iron. Like many other vegetables, it also contains fiber which can help with your baby’s digestive system, among other things. It also contains other nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium.
Look for kohlrabi that doesn’t have any bruises, blemishes or cracks. It should be firm when you press on it. For many recipes, you will be peeling off the outer layers, so the vegetable doesn’t need to be perfect.
Tips for Storage
Store kohlrabi in the refrigerator. Try to use it within 5 days, if possible.
Tips for Freezing
Most recipes call for fresh kohlrabi, but if you find that you aren’t able to use yours in time, you may want to freeze it. Start by peeling off the outside bark. For best results, you’ll want to blanch it prior to freezing it. You can do this with the vegetable whole or you can cube it. After blanching it, cool it, seal it, and freeze.
- 2 cup kohlrabi (shredded)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 tbsp dill
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tbsp oil (for frying)
- Peel and shred the kohlrabi. Wrap it in a towel and drain off as much liquid as possible.
- Add kohlrabi, flour, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and eggs to a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
- In a pan, heat oil over medium heat.
- Form kohlrabi mixture into thin patties (around 1/2 inch thick). Place patties in pan and fry 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Serve with applesauce, Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.