This week’s share will include turnips, rutabagas, beets or kohlrabi. The following information will help you identify them as well as provide helpful storage tips and preparation hints.
Turnips offer us a simultaneous sharp and sweet flavor, enjoyed by many. A good source of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, turnip greens also provide us with vitamins A, C, and B-complex, and the minerals potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They are one of the cruciferous vegetables believed to prevent cancer.
To prepare turnips, simply scrub with a stiff-bristled vegetable brush. They do not need to be peeled.
Turnips are excellent served raw on a veggie platter with a favorite dip. Or grate raw into salads or slaws.
Small whole turnips can be boiled for 15-20 minutes; larger turnips can be cut into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices or cubes and boiled for 8-10 minutes. Steam 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices or cubes for 12-15 minutes; steam small whole turnips 20-25 minutes. Turnips can be baked alone for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or bake with other seasonal root vegetables. Thinly slice into stir-fries, or add diced or cubed turnips to soups or stews.
Turnips can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Turnip greens should be stored separately, wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. Remember to use these as soon as possible.
A close relative of the turnip, rutabagas are sweeter, larger, and more tan in color. Also known as Swedes or Swedish turnips, they were one of the first vegetables grown by the early settlers. They are high in carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, and some minerals, especially calcium.
Store at room temperature for up to one week or in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator for up to one month.
To prepare, scrub vigorously with a vegetable brush to remove garden soil. Rutabaga can be grated raw into a salad. Or steam 1-inch chunks for 30-35 minutes, until tender. Mash, top with butter, salt and pepper, and serve. Rutabagas can also be mashed in combination with other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Delicious!
Beets are one of the most colorful, sweet and delicious vegetables to use, and they are so versatile! Use them either cooked or raw, and in your favorite recipes. They contain generous portions of vitamin C, A, and the carotenes. Using beet greens will also give you high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Beet greens are best used fresh. When storing for a short period, wrap the beet greens in a damp cloth or in a plastic bag and store in a refrigerator drawer. To keep the firmness of beet roots, cut off leaves and stems 1-2 inches above the crown. Store in a plastic bag and refrigerate in the hydrator drawer.
Kohlrabi is a close relative of broccoli; it resembles a root vegetable but actually the edible globe is the modified swollen stem. The edible leaves jut from the globe portion of the kohlrabi. It offers generous amounts of vitamins A and C and emphasizes the minerals potassium and calcium and is high in fiber.
Kohlrabi is delicious steamed. Cut into 1 inch chunks, steam until you can pierce with a fork. Toss with some butter, salt and pepper to taste. Makes an excellent side dish. Or simply cut into slices and serve raw on a veggie tray with dip.
Store globe and leaves separately. The globe will last about a month refrigerated in a plastic bag. Wrap the leaves in a damp towel or place in a plastic bag; use as soon as possible.