Why you should try rutabagas and turnips

Odds are, you walk right by these root vegetable cousins every time you’re at the supermarket.

Turnips and rutabagas don’t get much attention. And that’s a shame.

The unsung pair may not measure up to kale or other nutrient-packed leafy greens. But when it’s cold outside and you’re hankering for mashed, baked, or roasted potatoes, give these guys a whirl.

One cup of cooked white potatoes has 130 calories, largely from starchy carbs. In contrast, a cup of rutabaga has just 50 calories; a cup of turnips has a mere 35.

Yet they can both stand in for taters…with a slight twist.

Turnips have a distinctive tang, which mellows when you cook them. Rutabagas—a cross between turnips and cabbage—have less tang and more sweetness. Both deliver a decent dose of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

How to turn these root veggies into savory sides?

Peel and chop into chunks a pound of rutabagas or turnips. Toss with two tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt, then roast on a sheet pan in a 400ºF oven until caramelized and tender—about 20 to 40 minutes—stirring halfway. Mmm…

A tip from The Healthy Cook: Get yourself a serrated vegetable peeler—the kind with teeth—to help you shave off the thick skin with ease.

Photo: Enlightened Media/stock.adobe.com.

The information in this post first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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