- Family: Cruciferous family
- Culinary Uses: Most people serve turnips fresh or boiled, but they can also be baked, braised, steamed, or stir-fried.
Turnips are root vegetable which is about the size of a big apple, with a firm white skin that has a blush of purple on the shoulders. Turnip roots weigh up to about ½ kilogram, although they can be harvested when smaller.
Turnip Variety: Baby turnips are the preferred variety; most of this variety are eaten whole, including their leaves. This variety come in yellow, orange, and red-fleshed varieties as well as white-fleshed. It has a mild flavor so they are eaten raw in salads.
Turnip leaves also called “turnip greens” is equally nutrition, it has a pungent flavor similar to mustard leaves that becomes mild after cooking.
Health Benefits of Turnip:
- Rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent asthma symptoms, all forms of cancer, skin problem and eye disorders.
- Useful source of fiber, including soluble dietary fibers that help control blood cholesterol levels and helps prevent constipation.
- Contain sulfurous compounds that may protect against certain forms of cancer.
- Rich in flavonoids, which are good for maintaining the structure of capillaries.
- Contain folate which is beneficial during pregnancy to help prevent birth defect.
- Have diuretic effect that encourages the elimination of excess body fluids.
Nutrient Content of Turnip: per 100g
- Vitamin A: 381 µg
- Vitamin C: 27 mg.
- Vitamin K: 368 µg
- Calcium: 137 mg.
- Folate: 118 µg
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.4 g
- Fat: 0.13 g
- Calories: 35
- Other nutrient content: vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium and copper.
Health Benefits of Turnip Greens: The tops, or greens, which many cooks discard, are even more nutritious than the roots themselves.
- Turnip greens are rich in beta-carotene that can relieve rheumatoid arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
- It also contain large amounts of lutein, which has been shown to help prevent cataracts.
Nutrient Content per 1 cup of boiled greens:
- Vitamin A: 4,000 I.U.
- Vitamin C: 40 mg
- Calcium: 200 mg
- Potassium: 300 mg
How to Cook Turnip: Remove the leaf end and root end. Larger turnips should be peeled, but smaller turnips whose size is less than 2 inches (5cm) in diameter can be cooked without peeling. Thinly sliced turnips have a crisp texture, and can be eaten raw. When use as an ingredient to some dishes, it should be cut into cubes and cook for about 6 to 10 minutes.
How to Buy Turnip: Choose smaller turnips that are about 2-3 inches in diameter because it has a sweeter flavor (larger roots have a more woody texture). The skin should be smooth and without blemishes. Make sure also that the turnip is firm and heavy, and that the green leaves are dark and crisp.
Storage tip: Turnips can be kept for two weeks if placed in a cold place. However, turnip greens have to be eaten in a few days.
Turnip Side Effects:
- Individuals with thyroid problems should limit or avoid eating turnips because it contains substances called goitrogens which can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- It contains sulfur compounds that cause flatulence and digestion problem.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @22:24″