Turnips are a root vegetable in the same family as radishes and arugula. Most of you might think of roasting or preparing turnips mashed but did you know that the salad-type variety of turnips are great when eaten raw? Usually harvested when they are a little larger than a golf ball, salad turnips are surprisingly sweet. Sink your teeth into them like you would an apple for a pleasant surprise. These ain’t your grandma’s turnips! They are a wonderful addition to…you guessed it, SALADS! Just slice them up as you would a radish and enjoy with your favorite greens for a healthy, nutritious meal. They are also great cooked the way Grandma liked them too!
Turnips are in the cruciferous group of vegetables. Veggies from this family are rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates which are known for their cancer prevention properties. They are also high in antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C and others which may also reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart disease.
But wait! There’s a bonus. Not only are the turnip roots good for you but so are the greens! In our last newsletter (December 2020) we mentioned the Blue Zones listed turnip greens as a green you should be eating for its high nutritional value.
Unfortunately, the further we get into the winter season the quality of the greens deteriorates leaving only the root available for harvest. The greens are best when harvested early on in the growing season when they are tall and green and not molested by the cold weather. In the future, we will experiment with other varieties of turnips to see if we can provide you with turnip greens during the coldest months.
So if you haven’t tried salad turnips before, why not give them a shot. We think you will be pleasantly surprised and your body will thank you for a nutritious treat!