Tis definitely the season for lots of greens! The past few weeks of CSA deliveries have included everything from butter lettuce and spring greens to collards and kale. And this week, another new crunchy, leafy lettuce – radicchio. While not green, it is a leaf vegetable that is easily lumped into the “greens” category as something that can be tossed as a base for salads or wilted into stews. It is also easily confused for red cabbage, which is actually more purple in color, and which contains its own diverse nutrient makeup and benefits.
(Can you find the radicchio hiding in all the greens below?)
Like most leaf vegetables, radicchio is low in calories and high in fiber and micronutrients. This bitter red lettuce is particularly high in copper, potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins C and K.
The key nutritional benefit in radicchio is its antioxidant makeup. This little crunchy red vegetable is packed with polyphenols that help to neutralize free radicals, promoting the oxidation of healthy cells.
Another significant benefit of this powerhouse is radicchio’s abnormally high levels of vitamin K which aids in bone health and, along with significant amounts of inulin, promotes insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation. At over 100% DV, one serving of radicchio will have you set for the day.
Try a new spin on the usual green dishes with one of these radicchio-filled meals:
- Cowboy Caviar Couscous Salad – an easy-to-eat take on Texas caviar (swap the chicken stock for veggie)
- Chickpea Radicchio Wraps – a simple yet flavorful lunchtime meal
- Quinoa and Radicchio Salad with Dried Cherries and Pistachios – so many delicious flavors in one bowl (and perfect for the holidays!)
- Radicchio Pizza with Truffle Oil – one of many must-make recipes from The Kind Diet
- Vegan Pasta Alfredo with Sauteed Radicchio – perfect for a quick and hearty weeknight dinner