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Today’s post is dedicated to a new-to-me veggie that I’ve recently let in to my life: turnips.

My attempts to branch out in the world of vegetables led me to consider the turnip as a suitable next step after parsnips went over so well.

My Grandma used to make turnips for holiday dinners and my Mom continues to do the same yet they were never something I opted to try. I decided it was time to put my big girl pants on and give them a go.

Turnips- what they are and how to eat them

TURNIPS: WHAT ARE THEY?

“Although the turnip has been grown for more than 4,000 years and was one of the first foods to be cultivated in Europe, it is currently underappreciated: It keeps well, takes to almost any cooking method, and has a subtly flavored, tasty flesh.” – Cooking Light

Turnip up close

FUN FACTS

  • Member of the cruciferous family (broccoli, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts)
  • Season: year-round (peak Oct-Feb)
  • Good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C
  • While the turnip root is considered a starchy vegetable, it contains only 1/3 the calories of potato
  • Turnips contain a category of phytonutrients called indoles which may reduce the risk for lung and colorectal cancers

TURNIPS: HOW TO EAT THEM

Steaming is apparently the optimal choice as it allows you to get the maximum nutrients possible. Water soluble vitamins (such as vit C) can dissolve away in the water if you go the boiling route.

Regardless, I went with boiling for my first attempt. I cut up a small turnip into pieces and let it boil for ~30 minutes. Turnips boiling on stove

Whether you choose to boil or steam you will produce soft, tender pieces which can be mashed up just like potatoes.

I was under the assumption all these years that turnips were bitter and tangy. While they can certainly be (more so than parsnips that’s for sure) the flavor is a lot more mild than I anticipated. In fact they can be used in both sweet AND savory dishes.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

My Mom’s go-to has always been to top mashed turnip with butter and brown sugar. While home visiting this past weekend Mom made them for me with a bit of butter and maple syrup. The result? Fantastic.

Other ways I’ve come across include:

  • Olive oil & fresh rosemary/thyme
  • Butter, salt, pepper, bacon & chives
  • Just salt & pepper

TURNIPS ON PINTEREST

Have I sparked your interest? Want to let turnips into YOUR life? Here are some recipes I came across that you might want to check out:

Roasted Turnip with Balsamic Vinegar ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Besides steaming and boiling you can also bake them. This recipe has simple ingredients…probably things you already have in your kitchen.Roasted Turnips with Balsamic Vinegar and Thyme

Glazed Turnips ~ Israeli Kitchen

Another simple preparation. Salt? Pepper? Paprika? Common pantry staples. Glazed Turnips

Sweet Potato, Parsnip & Turnip Latkes ~ Wayfair

I personally would have to leave out the onion, but this combination of veggies sounds too good to pass up!Sweet_potato_parsnip_turnip_latkes

 

So go ahead. Give them a try!

I want to know…

Have you ever tried turnip?

Sweet? Savory?

How did you cook it?

 

Information for this post compiled from:

The Health Benefits of Turnips ~ SF Gate

Turnips- Shop, Prep, Cook Guide ~ Real Simple

What are the benefits of steamed turnips? ~SF Gate

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