Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Turnips & Rutabagas from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Turnips are one of the oldest and most widely eaten vegetables. They belong to the crucifer family and are related to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. They are similar in flavor to rutabaga, a close relative that is much larger than the turnip. Both vegetables' roots and greens are eaten making them a valuable crop for the poor.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


The rutabaga, (or swede or yellow turnip as it is called in England and Wales), is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the white turnip. Its leaves may also be eaten as a leaf vegetable as are the greens of the turnip.

The vegetable is native to Sweden, and was introduced into Scotland. From there, it spread to the rest of Britain and to North America.


In continental Europe, during World War I, it acquired a bad reputation. In the German winter of 191617, large parts of the population were kept alive on a diet consisting of little else but rutabagas. After the war, most people were so tired of eating rutabagas that they have remained unpopular to this day and are rarely planted.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


In Scotland, "neeps" are traditionally served mashed as part of the Burns supper and are hollowed out at Hallowe'en to make Jack-o'-lanterns.

They store well under the right circumstances. There are several types of turnips available in the market including amber and white globe and purple top. Good-quality rutabagas will be firm, smooth-skinned and free of blemishes. The coloring will be a deep rust-red that fades to a cream.


Selecting a quality product

If turnips and rutabagas are sold in bunches with the leaves intact, select those that have crisp green leaves. These leaves can then be cooked and eaten. The roots should be smooth, firm, and heavy for their size. Smaller turnips will be tenderer. Avoid soft, spongy, scarred, cut or wrinkled roots of either vegetable.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Tips on Storage

They should be stored, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If the tops are attached at the time of purchase, remove them and store them wrapped in a damp paper towel or plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Tips on cooking

Scrub them with a vegetable brush before use. They can be eaten raw and actually have a higher nutritional value when uncooked. They can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted with meat and other root vegetables.



Ways to use:

Add sticks to a vegetable tray
Dice and add to soups or stews
Shred and make a slaw with apples
Mash them along with potatoes


Spicy Rutabaga Bread

1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp allspice; ground
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup rutabaga; cooked & pureed
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Spray an 8 by 4 in. baking pan and line with wax paper. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg; mix well. In another bowl, beat egg and add rutabaga & veg oil. Add moist ingredients to dry ingredients all at once. Stir just enough to blend. Pour into prepared pan & bake in preheated oven at 350 for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Crunchy Beans With Turnips

Yield: 2 Servings

3 oz turnips; sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 oz lima beans; cooked
2 tbsp chives; minced
1 tsp curry
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy oil
1 1/2 oz walnuts; chopped
3 oz soybean sprouts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 4 x 8 baking pan with soy oil. Steam turnips. Combine lima beans, chives, curry, soy sauce, salt and soy oil in a blender with 2 ounces water. Puree until smooth. Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Transfer to baking pan and cook for 15 minutes.

Creamy Rutabaga Soup

Yield: 7 Servings

2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
2 cups diced rutabaga
1 cup sliced carrot
2 apples
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan and stir in onions and celery. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Add rutabaga, carrot, apple and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool slightly and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and stir in cream and milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly but do not boil. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Turnip and Bacon Soup

1/4 pound bacon
1/4 pound chopped onions
1/4 pound chopped potatoes
3/4 pound chopped turnips
2 pints stock
Fat for frying

Chop and fry bacon and onions. Add potatoes, turnips and stock. Cook gently until vegetables are soft. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Scalloped Rutabaga And Apple Combo

Yield: 6 Servings

1 lg rutabaga; peeled and diced
3 tbsp margarine; divided
1 1/2 cup peeled; sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
Cook, drain and mash rutabaga. Add 1 tablespoon margarine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss sliced apples with 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Arrange alternate layers of mashed rutabaga and sliced apples in greased 2 quart casserole, beginning and ending with rutabaga.

Mix together flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons margarine until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of casserole; bake for 1 hour. Serves 6.

Red Kidney Beans With Turnips

Yield: 6 Servings

1 cup red kidney beans, soaked
4 med turnips
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne (reduce or omit if desired)
4 tbsp oil
1 med onion, cut into half rings
3 garlic cloves, chopped

Combine kidney beans with 5 cups water & bring to a boil. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes, reduce heat & simmer, partially covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, peel turnips & cut into wedges. Combine ginger, turmeric, salt & cayenne in a small bowl with 1 tb water.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, brown the turnip wedges & remove. Stir-fry the onions until brown. Reduce heat a little & add garlic. Stir for a few seconds & add spice paste. Stir once & turn heat off.

When beans have cooked for 45 minutes, add turnips & onion mixture to them. Let the beans finish cooking. Serve with rice & green vegetables.

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