Kitchener Market 2017
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Kitchener Market 2017

Rutabagas

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Preview of Rutabaga

Available

March 1 - March 1

Harvest Period

October 1 - November 30

Rutabagas were developed in Switzerland as a cross between summer turnip and white cabbage.  Often confused with turnip, the rutabaga possesses a neck above the rounded root as well as secondary tap roots, both of which are absent in the turnip.  Rutabagas are also known as swedes (in England) or neeps (in Scotland)

What to Look For

Look for a shiny, fairly smooth surface and bright purple color. Avoid those that are woody, dull or faded looking.

Cleaning and Preparation

Rutabagas must be peeled before using. As the skin is quite thick and uneven, it is often easier to quarter the root and cut off the skin with a knife, rather than using a peeler.

Storage

Keep rutabaga in a cool, dry place, or in the refrigerator. If waxed, rutabaga will keep for up to 3 months.

To freeze, peel and slice (or dice) rutabagas then blanch for 2 minutes.  Plunge into cold water, drain, and pack into freezer bags or containers.

Nutritional Information

Rutabagas are a very good source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese and a good source of calcium, folate, and thiamin.

One cup (140g) of raw, cubed rutabaga provides 50 calories, 0g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, and 2g protein.

How to Use

Roasting will concentrate the rutabaga’s flavour, whereas boiling will dilute it. Cut it into chunks or cubes and cook until tender. Baking at 350F will take about 30 to 45 minutes, boiling will take 10 to 20 minutes. Rutabaga can also be eaten raw, finely grated in a salad.

Varieties

Most rutabaga grown in Ontario is the Laurentian variety.