Let’s Get to the Root of It

This is the season for root vegetables.  They feel heartier, warmer, more substantial than other types of vegetables.  Of course, root vegetables seem to be a little controversial taking more criticism then other types of vegetables because of their starch and glycemic index factor.  Some lack any real nutritional value.  But some are low calorie, no starch, high fiber.  Shocked?  My personal favorite is the turnip.

Turnips are very mild tasting and very inexpensive.  They basically have the consistency very close to a potato.  Interestingly, turnips are actually in the cabbage family.  Because of their membership with the cruciferous vegetable clan, they are highly regarding as a protector against cancer.    The turnips, along with rutabagas, are valued for their anti-carcinogenic properties.

Turnips are an excellent source of Vitamin C-1 cup gives a 1/3 of your daily recommendation.  They are also very low in calories and provide high amounts of calcium and potassium.  Containing so much soluble dietary fiber helps control blood cholesterol levels as well.

There is a belief, and some study, that suggests turnips reduce mucus, can help dissolve phlegm, strengthen the blood and clear heat in the body.  Raw it is known as a great digestive aid.  And for those interested in Ayurveda, turnips reduce Kapha.

You can cook turnips anyway you can imagine.  Boil them, steam them, grill them, gratin them, mash them-you think it, you can do it.  They are great in stews, soups and stir-frys.  They’ll absorb the flavor of anything they are cooked in.

Oddly enough, I actually get cravings for turnips now and again.  I almost never use a potato for anything.  I use them as a substitute for potatoes when making “home fries”, mashed, or french fries.  I love pairing them with rosemary or thyme.

No matter what you decide to do with them, give these roots a try.  I think you may be surprised at how much you like them.


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