I haven’t had turnips since I was a child. My mother used to fix them on occasion because my father enjoyed them. At the time I thought they were nothing more than a variation of spuds. Now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser) and have set some goals to eat a wider variety of vegetables in order to benefit from the various nutritional attributes of each, I’ve revisited turnips.
It turns out they’re not at all what I thought they were growing up. They aren’t part of the potato family, but belong in the broad Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbage, kale, and Brussel-sprouts. They are nutritious and can be used in a variety of ways.
Health Benefits of Turnips
- High in vitamin C providing about 21 mg or 35% of DRA per 100 g.
- Rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoid, xanthin, and luetin. The leafy tops are an excellent source of vitamin K.
- Low in calories. A half of a cup serving of turnips is only about 30 calories.
- Contain other nutrients that are worth mentioning; potassium – 233 mg (5%); magnesium 11 mg (2.5%); manganese 0.134 mg (6%); dietary fiber 1.8 g (5%).
Turnips are available throughout the year, are inexpensive to buy and easy to prepare. I borrowed this recipe from Hillbilly Housewife. It was light in flavor and an absolutely delicious side dish.
Best Turnip Recipe
- 2 pounds fresh turnips
- 1 fresh apple (optional)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons margarine
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
First peel the turnips with a vegetable peeler. Peel the apple too if you like, but it isn’t necessary, unless he skin is really ugly. Chop or slice the turnips, (and the apple) into the chunks the right size for eating. Fill a big pot half full of water. Add the turnips, apple, margarine, sugar and salt and pepper as you like. Cover the pot and simmer on the back of the stove for about 20 minutes, or until the turnip chunks are tender to your preference. Serve hot. Serves six.
Hillbilly Housewife will tell you the apple is the secret ingredient that subtly changes the flavor of the turnips. She sold me on it! I’ll definitely make Hillbilly turnips again!
Trying new and different vegetables with unique flavors helps me stay motivated to eat lots of color each day. Turnips can be used in salads, appetizers, soups and stews. Are you a turnip fan?
Be Social! Share!