Rooting for Rutabaga
By: Leanne Ely
Do you know the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga? If not, you aren’t alone! Most of us in North America use the two phrases interchangeably without even realizing it. If you’ve ever spent any time in the UK, you know that they use the correct terms for these two root veggies. It’s understandable why the two vegetables are confused. The rutabaga actually started out as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip!
Now, time for your lesson.
Those large round, tan-colored root vegetables with the purple ring around the top? Those are rutabagas. Turnips are smaller and white in color, with a small bit of purple around the top.Whatever you call it, the rutabaga is one of those faithful old standby vegetables. Easily found almost anywhere, rutabagas are cheap, nutritious and versatile.
If you’re scrunching up your nose at the thought of eating rutabagas, there’s a good chance you just haven’t yet found a way to prepare them that suits your taste buds!
Raw rutabagas are sweet and crispy. Great diced into a salad, rutabaga is a great way to change things up.
Cooked rutabagas take on a mild, bitter taste that makes this root veggie a great accompaniment to all kinds of dishes. I personally adore rutabagas in a pot of soup. They’re also excellent baked (rutabaga fries!) or mashed with sweet potatoes.
Rutabagas are packed with fiber, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. You can get more than half your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C from a cup of rutabaga. Rutabaga is a sulfur veggie, with tons of cancer-preventing potential.