Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Turnips

While turnips may not be the best-known or most popular root vegetable, they’re just as versatile and tasty as their distant cousins carrots and sweet potatoes.  Turnips in their whole form provide a lot of bang for your buck, as both the root and leaves are edible.  Turnip roots are a good source of fiber and high in Vitamin C.  Turnip leaves, or greens, like many other green leafy veggies are rich in Vitamins A, C, K, folate, and calcium.  When you buy turnips at the store, get creative and try to use the entire vegetable to make multiple, healthy dishes.

Mashed Turnips

2 lbs. turnips
½ cup Skim or 1% milk
3 tsp. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Rinse and peel turnips. Cut them into large, even pieces. Put them in a pot, cover them with cold, lightly salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook turnips until very tender, about 10 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, gently heat the milk over low heat. Add butter and melt it into the milk.
3.  Drain turnips, return to the pot, and place over medium low heat to dry out the turnips a bit.
4.  Mash turnips until as smooth as possible or run them through a ricer. Stir in warmed milk and melted butter. Add pepper to taste. Serve mashed turnips hot.

Turnip Green Soup

1 bunch of turnips with greens, or 3 or 4 turnips and 1 bunch of turnip greens
2 small onions or leeks
2 or 3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 to 6 cups homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.  Remove the greens from the turnips, if necessary. Wash and rinse the greens, cut them into thin strips, and set them aside.
2.  Peel the turnips, chop them into small chunks, and set aside.
3.  Peel and finely chop onions or clean and finely chop leeks. Set aside.
4.  Thinly slice garlic and set aside.
5.  Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions or leeks, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes.
6.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7.  Add the chopped turnips and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until turnips are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
8.  Stir in the turnip greens and cook until the greens are tender, about 2 minutes.
9.  Taste the soup and add seasonings to taste. Serve the soup hot, garnished with black pepper.

Recipes adapted from


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