Matthew Kaplan is the Editor for FaveDiets.com, a free online resource featuring hundreds of free healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and loads more. Be sure to check out FaveDiets on Facebook and on Twitter.
Fall has always been such a wonderful time of the year. From the leaves changing colors and crisp weather to holidays and football games, it’s hard not to enjoy the season. To top it all off, I adore fall foods. Apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and more are in season, making fall all that much better.
Fall is the ideal time for root vegetables (think sweet potatoes, beets and carrots). One of my favorite root vegetables to cook with is the turnip. Sure, other root vegetables, like potatoes, may get all the glory, but try a turnip before you shun this colorful root.
If you have never seen a turnip before, first think of what a beet looks like. Now imagine if that beet was mostly white but with a light pink crown next to the greens. That’s what a turnip looks like. I find it has a subtly sweet taste when cooked, but it can be bitter if eaten raw. When buying turnips, look for smaller ones that have a smooth skin and a slightly sweet aroma.
A great, often overlooked benefit of turnips, is that turnip greens are also tasty and nutritious. They have a strong earthy taste similar to beet greens or mustard greens. To cook them, choose small tender leaves and cook like you would any other dark leafy green. Get started by trying this recipe: Asian Turnip and Turnip Greens Stir-Fry.
If you’re not yet convinced to give fresh turnip recipes a try, then consider turnip nutrition stats. One cup of this root vegetable has only 36 calories and 8 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6.
Now that you’ve hopefully been convinced of the positive properties of turnips, try out some of these recipes and cooking tips for fresh turnips. If you have no previous experience with cooking a turnip, then start off by substituting turnips for potatoes in your favorite dishes. Instead of mashed potatoes, try making these Mashed Turnips. Or, just cube some fresh turnips, flavor with garlic, fresh herbs and oil, and bake in the oven to make roasted turnips.
For some more adventurous fresh turnip recipes, here are some of my favorites. Always a crowd favorite is my recipe for Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie, which uses turnips and other vegetables instead of ground meat for the filling. For something simple, try out this Healthy Boiled Turnips recipe that has only five ingredients. For a hearty fall-weather soup idea, make a big batch of this slow cooker White Bean and Basil Soup that features turnips and a whole host of other filling vegetables.
If you have never tried a turnip recipe, then it’s time for you to venture out and try something new. Whether you make plain roasted turnips or something more involved, like Barley Lentil Soup with Turnips, knowing how to cook a turnip will ensure you a season’s worth of delicious healthy eating.
October 10th, 2011