Rutabaga

Spring, Fall, Winter

Health Benefits

Rutabagas as a root vegetable are a healthy alternative to potatoes as they contain less "empty" carbohydrates than the starchy potato. They boast lots of fiber, which help to achieve a feeling of fullness, and regulate digestion. Their carotenoids and Vitamin C are known to fight free radicals that can boost immunity, helping to prevent illness and stimulating healthy cell regeneration.

History

The Rutabaga, also known as Swede, or wild cabbage, is a root vegetable much like a turnip. Rutabagas are considered to be a more recent cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They were originally grown in Sweden, lending to it's name, and later spread to western Europe and the Americas.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

Trim greens from the bulb within one inch. With a dry towel, wipe the root clean. When stored in cold temperatures with relatively high humidity, rutabagas can last from 1-4 months. They can be stored in a refrigerator, or a cold storage heaped with dry matter like straw. For prolonged storage, freeze diced or pureed rutabagas for use later in stews, soups or mash.

How to Prepare

Trim the greens and roots from the bulb, wash, and peel the thick outer skin from the bulb. Rutabagas can be cubed, shredded or pureed. They are most commonly eaten cooked, and the longer they are cooked, the sweeter the flavor. Any bitterness can be corrected with a touch of sweetness. They can also be pureed with milder vegetables like potatoes.

Ways to Enjoy

Enjoy diced rutabagas similarly to potatoes. In soups or stews their sweet and bitter flavors fall in nicely with the blend. They are popularly mixed with potatoes in mash, and in Scotland, added to haggis. Bake them for an hour at 350 to soften. They also make an excellent hash.

Health Benefits

Rutabagas as a root vegetable are a healthy alternative to potatoes as they contain less "empty" carbohydrates than the starchy potato. They boast lots of fiber, which help to achieve a feeling of fullness, and regulate digestion. Their carotenoids and Vitamin C are known to fight free radicals that can boost immunity, helping to prevent illness and stimulating healthy cell regeneration.

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