Another Reason to Grow Radishes: Edible Pods

Radishes in late stages of flowering, with pods starting to appear.
This year, I decided to grow radishes for the first time since I was a kid. I like how quickly radishes grow in the spring, becoming mature before most anything they are planted next to, making use of otherwise unused garden space. But my kids had never really eaten radishes and my husband isn't a big fan, either. It turned out the radishes were hotter than I expected, prompting my 6 year old to say, "They make my ears burn!" So I ate the radishes all by myself and was about to completely cross this vegetable off next year's garden list, when I read that radish seed pods are edible and delicious.

Radish seed pods.
Never having eaten a radish seed pod, I let a handful of radishes grow flowers (pretty pinkish purple things that turned white as the petals aged). As the blooms are now falling away, seed pods about three-quarters of an inch are appearing. I tried one raw and was surprised: They have the crunchiness and moisture content of a good, fresh green bean, along with an extremely mild radish-y flavor. My daughter (who is loathe to try any new food...unless it comes from our garden) couldn't wait to try them, and soon she was begging for more. My husband and 3 year old love them, too.

We like them best raw (but then, we eat a lot of vegetables raw) as a snack or in a salad, but I suspect you could cook them like green beans or peas in the pod, too.

Give it a try!

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