Written By Brandy Centolanza
When it comes to noshing on root vegetables, most people grab a carrot; but turnips shouldn’t be ignored. “When you are getting to the bottom of finding a nutrient-dense, budget-friendly vegetable, turnips top the list,” notes Rosemary Hutcherson, a dietetic student at Virginia State University and volunteer at the clinical nutrition department at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.
“This root vegetable is a fall and winter delight that adds some variety to your daily intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Turnips—from root to tip—can be incorporated into your meal planning, making them a sound choice for the body and the budget,” says Hutcherson. At a mere 36 calories per cup, turnips are a good source of vitamins A, B6, C and K as well as fiber, calcium, potassium and copper.
Hutcherson points out that while turnips may be overshadowed by other root vegetables, “Turnips and turnip greens supply many of the vitamins and minerals essential for formation of the bone matrix and normal functioning of the bone cells, boosting the body’s bone development and maintenance abilities. Vitamin C serves multiple purposes as a powerful antioxidant, supporter of immune cell functions and is a major contributor to bone development through collagen formation.”
Roasted Root Vegetables
Courtesy of A Chef’s Kitchen, Makes 4 Servings
1 turnip, peeled and cut into thin strips (6 oz.)
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into thin strips (6 oz.)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips (4 oz.)
½ tsp. kosher salt
One tsp. chopped fresh thyme
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the root vegetables in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients except the chives. Place the vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Remove the vegetables from the oven after five minutes. Stir them well and return to the oven. Roast until they caramelize evenly and are tender. Remove from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool. Adjust seasoning to taste. When ready to serve, reheat in a 300 degree oven, toss with the chives and serve.
Garnish with a fresh beet puree. Peel and chop fresh beets, cover with water in a small sauce pan and simmer until tender. Puree the beets in a blender and strain. Return to the stove and simmer until thickened. Cool and reserve.