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Turnips

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Preview of Turnip

Available

August 15 - March 1

Harvest Period

August 15 - September 15

A member of the brassica family, turnips likely originated in northern areas of Europe and Siberia.  Often confused with rutabagas, turnips are less dense, lack a neck between stem and root and are free of secondary tap roots that define the rutabaga. Like rutabagas, turnips can have either a white or yellow fleshed root, generally with a flattened globe shape.

What to Look For

Turnips should be firm and heavy for their size with a smooth, undamaged surface. Smaller turnips are sweeter and more tender. Young turnips are sometimes sold with their leaves attached, in which case they should be crisp and green.

Cleaning and Preparation

Wash and trim before use. Baby turnips can be used whole (they're good grated raw in salads), larger ones should be peeled.

Storage

Keep turnip in a cool, dry place, or in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze, peel and slice (or dice) turnips and blanch for 2 minutes.  Plunge into cold water, drain and pack into freezer bags or containers.  Greens can also be frozen in the same way, after having been washed and the tough stems discarded.

Nutritional Information

Turnip root is a very good source of vitamin C and manganese. Furthermore, turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and folate and a good source of calcium, copper, and manganese. Turnip greens are also very high in the phytochemical, lutein.

One cup (130g) of raw, cubed turnip provides 36 calories, 0g fat, 8g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, and 1g protein.

One cup (55g) of raw turnip greens provides 18 calories, 0g fat, 4g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, and 1g protein.

How to Use

Turnip leaves can be prepared as other greens in the brassica family (kale and swiss chard) and ressemble mustard greens in flavour.  Chunks of turnip root can be roasted like potatoes alongside meat or poultry, and boiled or steamed. They can also be added to soups and stews. The flavour intensifies during cooking so avoid cooking for too long or the taste can become overpowering.