Raving about Rutabaga

Here is the fifth and final installment in our series about nutrition and winter vegetables from the students at Mount Saint Vincent University.  If you missed any of the past posts, you can find them here: turnip, kale, beets, and parsnip.  And now: rutabagas!

What’s the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip? From looking at these two vegetables you may not be able to tell that there is a difference. Even more confusing is that the rutabaga is sometimes known as the Swedish Turnip. One major reason for this confusion could be due to the fact that rutabagas are a cross between cabbage and turnip, but they have a different and sweeter taste than the traditional turnip does.

This “turnip twin” is jam packed with nutrients and can be used many different ways- what more reason do you need to try these tasty and healthy vegetables? The major nutrients you will find in a rutabaga include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and niacin.

With 18% of your daily calcium intake in 1 medium size rutabaga you will get plenty of protection for your bones and teeth. The iron will provide you with energy production and keep your immune and central nervous systems healthy, while the magnesium is great for muscle contraction and transporting energy throughout the body. That’s not all this root vegetable can do for you. Rutabagas provide you with 32% of your daily needs for phosphorus, which will help with the production, and maintenance of DNA, cell enzymes and bones; and don’t forget niacin which also helps in cell and DNA repair and maintenance. The potassium in these veggies will keep your blood pressure healthy and the amazing 100% of your daily vitamin C will boost your immune system and help cuts and wounds to heal more quickly.

Here is a great recipe to try with rutabaga. Mix it with fresh local carrots and you have a great, healthy side dish for any meal

Lemon and Honey Carrots and Rutabaga (from epicurious.com)

1 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes.
Add carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
Drain.
Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat.
Add lemon juice, honey, and peel. Bring to boil.
Add vegetables; cook until glazed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat.
Mix in fresh chives.
Makes 6-8 servings

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3 thoughts on “Raving about Rutabaga

  1. I made turnip soup using a rutabaga. That was a mistake!!
    But I love rutabagas. Boil and mash them with cream and butter. Slice them and roast them with oil and salt or cut them into french fries, toss with oil and then shake them with your favourite spices. They made great oven fries.
    Cheers,
    Pat

  2. Pingback: Confessions of a turnip hater « Adventures in Local Food

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