Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insiders Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Versatile Root Veggies: Rutabagas & Turnips. Rosanne Toroian, Schnuck Markets. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Rutabagas and turnips are root vegetables that are in season October through March. These cool-weather cruciferous members of the mustard family are related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and kale as well as many others. Rutabagas and turnips share a bitter-sweet personality with a peppery edge.

Slightly larger and sweeter than a turnip, a rutabaga has a firm, creamy-yellow flesh and keeps in the refrigerator up to one month. Often coated with a protective wax, rutabagas should always be peeled. To peel, cut the rutabaga into wedges then remove the peel with your paring knife.

A close cousin of the rutabaga, the turnip has a delicately bitter white interior and is often sold with its greens attached. Reminiscent of kale or mustard greens, turnip greens may be prepared in a similar manner. Purple and white turnips peel easily with a vegetable peeler. Both turnips and rutabagas should be purchased when they are rather small and feel heavy for their size.

Quick-cooking and versatile, rutabagas and turnips can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, and roasted. Puréed or mashed, they benefit from a generous dose of butter and some honey or brown sugar. Always pre-cook rutabagas and turnips before adding to soups and stews so they don’t overpower the flavor of the dish.

Rosanne Toroian
Food Editor & Information Specialist
Schnuck Markets, Inc.

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