Let's get to the root of this veggie.
Advertisement
Organic Turnips
Credit: Heinstirred/Getty Images

Turnips, like other root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, and carrots, boast a myriad of nutritional benefits and can be cooked in countless ways. They can be found in farmers markets and grocery stores throughout the year, but their flavor profile varies depending on when they're harvested and how they are prepared. Get ready to learn all about this healthy veggie, which can be roasted, turned into a soup, and more.

What Are Turnips?

Turnips are root vegetables that are commonly associated with radishes and arugula. Their creamy white and purple bulbs are often cooked, but when sliced thinly, they're delicious eaten raw as well. Like many other root vegetables, turnips have long, leafy greens that are perfect for soups, sauces, or simply sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Many root vegetables, including turnips, are best enjoyed when harvested in the fall, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy them throughout the year. In fact, you may notice that turnips are smaller and sweeter in the spring months, which makes them an ideal mashed potato alternative or a colorful addition to an impressive crudités platter. Larger turnips tend to have a bitter taste, but they can still be used as a great addition to a minestrone soup or roasted as a side dish.

Turnip Nutrition Benefits

Turnips are incredibly fibrous vegetables that also contain crucial vitamins and minerals that are important for our bodies. Consuming foods rich in fiber is important because it can aid in digestion and prevent constipation. Turnips are a particularly good source of vitamin C, which helps maintain a healthy immune system.

Some other health benefits of turnips include lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. Additionally, turnips contain nitrates, which are important for the health of our blood vessels. They also have a compound called sulforaphane, that can help safeguard the body from certain types of cancer. According to a 2015 study, sulforaphane may interfere with the function of a specific enzyme that plays a role in the development of cancer cells.

How to Cook With Turnips

When it comes to cooking with turnips, the sky is the limit. They can be shredded or chopped and enjoyed raw on top of a salad, boiled and mashed for a healthier, starchy side, roasted until brown and crispy, or pickled as a delicious, crunchy snack. If you've got some turnips in the fridge, you can transform the versatile veggie into any number of dishes.

How Long Do Turnips Stay Good For?

Many people love turnips because, when stored properly, they have a lengthy shelf life. After buying a bunch of turnips, it's best to cut off the green ends and keep them in a plastic bag for about a week. Within that week, feel free to cook and sauté the greens just like you would similar veggies.

And believe it or not, the bulb of the turnip will stay fresh in your crisper drawer or a cool dark place for a few months.

Turnip Recipes

Since turnips are so versatile, there are some innovative ways to cook with them. Try this Turnip Soba Noodle Salad, which features thinly sliced turnips and red cabbage on a bed of buckwheat noodles. If you're crazy about French fries, you need to give turnip fries a go. They're crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside – heavenly! And if you stumbled upon some baby turnips, use them to make this brown sugar-glazed side dish, which pairs well with chicken or red meat.