[size="5"]RUTABAGAS--AN UNCOMMON TREAT
Includes Recipe Below
Rutabagas are often thought of as yellow turnips but actually bear the botanical name Brassica napus
and belong to the highly prized family of cruciferous vegetables. The rutabaga, a relatively newcomer in the world of vegetables, is thought to have evolved from a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip. The earliest records of rutabaga's existence are from the seventeenth century in Southern Europe where they were first eaten as well as used for animal fodder. It's curious that throughout history animals were often fed the healthiest foods, foods thought to be inappropriate for human consumption. Because rutabagas thrive best in colder climates, they became popular in Scandinavia, but especially in Sweden, the country that earned them the name "swedes." In Europe, rutabagas are still called swedes. In America, rutabagas were first cultivated in the northern parts of the country in the early 1800s. Canada and the northern states are today's greatest producers of the rutabaga.
The rutabaga is a root vegetable that looks very much like a turnip with yellow-orange flesh and ridges at its neck.
Although this beta carotene-rich vegetable has been grown and marketed in our country for nearly 200 years, it remains an uncommon food in American dining. It's actually a great tasting vegetable with a delicate sweetness and flavor that hints of the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. With its easy preparation and versatility, great nutrition, and excellent flavor, the rutabaga can easily become an endearing family favorite.
Because rutabagas store so well, up to one month in the refrigerator and up to four months in commercial storage at 32 degrees, they are available year round. Planted in May and June, they're harvested in late summer and early fall when their flavor is at its peak. Ideally, it's best to shop for fresh rutabagas at farmer's markets in early autumn.
100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces
Nutrient Cooked Raw
Calories 39 36 Protein 1.3 g 1.2 g Total Fat .6 g .6 g % Calories from fat 5.1% 5.0% Carbohydrates 8.7 g 8.1 g Fiber 1.8 g 2.5 g Calcium 48.0 mg 47.0 mg Copper .04 mg .04 mg Iron 53 mg .52 mg Magnesium 23.0 mg 23.0 mg Manganese .17 mg .17 mg Phosphorous .57 mg .58 mg Potassium 326.0 mg 337.0 mg Selenium .7 mg .7 mg Sodium 20.0 mg 20.0 mg Zinc .350 mg .340 mg Vitamin A 561.0 IU 580.0 IU Vitamin B1 Thiamine .082 mg .090 mg Vitamin B2 Riboflavin .041 mg .040 mg Vitamin B3 Niacin .72 mg .7 mg Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine .102 mg .100 mg Vitamin C 18.8 mg 25.0 mg Vitamin E .15 mg .30 mg Folate (folic acid) .15 mcg .21 mcg Pantothenic Acid .155 mg .160 mg Saturated Fat .03 g .03 g Monounsaturated Fat .07 g .07 g Polyunsaturated Fat .04 g .04 g
There are at least 100 ways to enjoy rutabagas. Here are a just few suggestions to introduce this wonderful vegetable:
RAW: First, peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice and enjoy as a snack. Chop, dice, or grate them and add to salads. Create a unique salad with diced rutabagas and other vegetables of your choice. Grate them and add to cole slaw. Grate and combine with carrot salad.