Nebraska Farm to Preschool Toolkit

  • Nebraska Produce Availability:

Produce Seasonality, Crop Extension, and Storage Resource Guide for Nebraska

  • Seasonal Food Guide by State: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/

Turnips

Photo credit: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/beets

Health Benefits

Turnips are often overlooked in the vegetable aisle.  However they are nutrient dense, high fiber, and are low calorie.  Turnips are a member of cruciferous family related to broccoli, kale, and Brussel sprouts. One medium turnip is only 34 calories, has 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, and over half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.  Even the leafy green tops are packed with nutrition.  Cooked turnip greens are very popular in southern cooking.  They are high minerals and vitamins.

Turnips greens have many health benefits:

  • Iron for healthy blood production and helps the body convert food to energy phosphorous
  • Magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A also promote strong bones
  • Vitamin C and Vitamin A promotes healthy skin and hair and helps the immune systems. Vitamin C assists the body in iron absorption
  • Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A promote bone health
  • Folate helps to prevent cancer
  • Potassium is good for the nervous system and helps lower blood pressure

How to Purchase and Store

When purchasing turnips, choose the smaller root bulbs will be sweeter and larger will be a stronger spicier flavor.  They should be quite firm and avoid bumps and bruises.  The greens are sometimes detached and sold separately.  The greens should be a healthy green color.  Turnips have a long shelf life and are generally available year round.

How to Cook Turnips

Always wash turnips well before preparing them.  The white Turnip bulbs can be cooked or eaten raw.  When preparing them for raw consumption, slice off the roots and greens.  Peel before slicing, or cutting into sticks to eat with dips.  Smaller Turnips will have a thinner skin may not need to be peeled.

Turnips can be roasted, sautéed, boiled, baked, steamed, mashing, and pickled. They are also compliment flavor and nutritional value by adding to dishes such as stews, soups, and root vegetable melodies.  Roasting turnips is one of the best ways to retain the unique flavors a preserve the maximum nutritional value.

When purchasing beets look for fresh leaves and smooth round hard bulbs. Smaller beets have more flavor. If you are purchasing them with the top greens intact, they should be removed and stored separately as they will continue to extract moisture from the root. When cutting the green tops off leave about an inch of the stalk.

Resources:

https://www.pritikin.com/health-benefits-of-turnips

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285961.php

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/turnips.html

 

Produce Pick Spotlight Recipes and Serving Ideas

Roasted Turnips

Roasted Turnips
Roasted Turnips

Turnip Slaw

Turnip Slaw
Turnip Slaw

Turnip Fries

Turnip Fries
Turnip Fries

 

Creamed Turnips

Creamed Turnips
Creamed Turnips

 

Mashed Turnips

Mashed turnips
Mashed Turnips

 

Honey Glazed Turnips

Honey Glazed Turnips

 

Slow Cooker Turnip Greens

Slow Cooker Turnip Greens
Slow Cooker Turnip Greens

 

Southern Turnip Greens

Southern Turnip Greens
Southern Turnip Greens

 

Curriculum

Lesson Plans

Taste Test Activities

 

Updated November 19, 2019 8:07am