• Sumo

Time to go in depth with a veggie that everyone knows about but quite a few are a bit wary to give a try. I’m talking about the horseradish, one of the most flavorful vegetables you could ever find, though it’s that same flavor that typically polarizes the masses when it comes time to chow down. Using the knowledge that thus far, everything featured on these nutrition facts articles have proven to be great sources of vitamins and minerals, logic would dictate that horseradish will be no different. So let’s waste no more time and take a more observant eye to the strange plant and learn more about the horseradish!

Horseradish Culture and History

Horseradish is yet another member of the BC club, finding its origin at some point before even 1500 BC in Egypt, though perhaps not necessarily in Egypt. That’s just as far back as we’re aware of it and from where. Greek mythology mentions it a bit here and there, specifically saying that horseradish is worth its weight in gold. Plus, Pliny the Elder, that cool dude who wrote all about plants back in Roman times, mentioned what everyone assumes was horseradish, though he called it Amoracia.

There seemed to be a general spread without trace throughout Europe as it just sort of kept getting planted, mostly by itself. By the Middle Ages it was commonly used as both a medicine and a condiment, eventually getting the name Raphanus during the Renaissance because they were all about the fancy names back then. I personally prefer the name Horseradish but what’s in a name?

We’re not really sure where we get the name Horseradish though. A lot of people assume it must come from the German word “mahre” which means “female horse” since their name for horseradishes is “meerrettich” (“sea radish”) and people just assumed it was actually “mahrrettich” (“mare radish”). The funny thing is, perhaps not funny “ha ha” but funny “uh-oh” perhaps, is that horseradish is actually rather poisonous to horses. That’s like discovering that catnip is very bad for cats. What a strange world this is.

Health Benefits of Horseradish

Just as you’d expect from something that’s a leafy green vegetable with a nice root, horseradishes are low in calories and fat but high in fiber and of course antioxidants because we can’t have a nutrition facts article without mentioning antioxidants. I’m almost to the point where I’m pro-oxidants just in an effort to see a different opinion of them already. My goodness.

The pungent smell and powerful flavor comes from a mixture of chemicals within the plant, all with names that have zero meaning to anyone beyond being “those chemicals that when mixed smell and taste like horseradish.” They are also the reason for the antioxidant qualities and the ability of the plant to have de-toxification properties.

As for the typical vitamins and minerals, horseradish of course has all of those, so high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, niacin, panthothenic acid, sodium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc are all present. All this means is that horseradish is yet another vegetable that meets the minimum requirements. Plus, it’s considered a gastric stimulant, meaning it increases appetite and aids in digestion, so definitely something to eat if you’re having trouble getting hungry for meals anymore.

Eating More Horseradish

Of course, getting hungry for meals anymore is not our usual problem, is it? With horseradish, you’ll have to be somewhat adventurous to really get into it, though some simple horseradish mustard is a good place to start. Mainly, horseradish seems to find the most use as a condiment spreadable on sandwiches or used when dipping other foods, which I’m totally fine with. However, that limits the potential the strong flavor creates.

For instance, have you ever had horseradish apple sauce? Aha, pretty excited, yes? Or how about horseradish mashed potatoes? Ooh, now we’re really getting somewhere. Why not try some horseradish with some cheese? Yes, my body is ready! It may be more difficult to find obvious places where horseradish should go since the usual places are a bit more of a gamble thanks to the flavor, but experimentation in recipes is one of the most enjoyable part of the vegetarian lifestyle, isn’t it?

That said, do you have some absolutely dynamite horseradish recipes to share? I’m always open to trying something new and exciting, and horseradish has always been one of those vegetables that I’ve wanted to do more with but rarely get the opportunity. So please, tell me what I should do with a bunch today! How would you suggest preparing it for a fantastic meal? Leave a comment and let me know! What better way to spice up a Friday than with some new horseradish recipes?