Food of the Month: Horse Radish
Care of Amy Symington
Horse radish, a member of the Brassicaceae family, is an often forgotten or snubbed root veggie. Similar to its cruciferous cousins, radish, mustard and wasabi, horse radish packs a pungent punch not only flavour-wise but nutritionally speaking as well.
When intact the small root is practically odorless, however, once broken down its strong smell and sharp, spicy taste could bring even the toughest spice eater to their knees, or rather, to their nose.
It can be classified as a nutriceutical or functional food, which by definition is a food item that not only provides basic human nutrition like vitamins and minerals, but also supplies additional health benefits like reducing the risk of chronic disease. In this case, horse radish specifically contains a number of different phytochemicals that provide specific health benefits. For example, often horse radish contains high concentrations of glucosinolates, which are known for their fungicidal and anti-bacterial properties. In addition, recent research concerning glucosinolates suggests that horse radish may even help with reducing cancer causing carcinogens present in the body. Vitamin C and fibre, which horse radish contains high levels of, also fall under the nutriceutical category, as they act as free radical scavengers and promote prebiotic activity, respectively.
Horse radish is an amazing addition to any sauce, dip, soup or stew and is definitely a go to if you’d like to wow the noses off your dinner guests!