Many individuals around the world avoid turnips, believing that the taste would be strange and it will be difficult to cook. This perception is no secret and couldn’t be more true that turnips are not one of those vegetables that are mostly liked and consumed by people.
But if we consider the possible benefits this time and be brave enough to know what do turnips taste like, then we might realize how important it is to add turnips to your diet plans.
Turnip may sound like an old-fashioned vegetable, but the quick-growing root is an important part of Nordic cuisine. Turnips taste mild with a slightly sweet flavor and a spicy hint when they are young. With their age, a woodier taste begins to develop till they get mature. Many people like turnips in the mashed or roasted form to enjoy the depth of the flavors.
Now that you know how it tastes like, let’s look at some of the tips and recipes to prepare turnips and bring out the delicious taste of this underrated vegetable.
What do Turnips taste like?
Turnip is an amazing vegetable that tastes different at every stage when it’s harvested. People find turnip to be slightly bitter and peppery in taste, which is understandable as a turnip is part of the radish and mustard greens family.
The peppery taste of turnip is somewhere similar to the taste of cabbage due to its sulfur-rich content that is why it is considered a cruciferous vegetable.
On the flip side, many others associate the taste of turnip to be a slight cross between carrots and potatoes. They say the turnip is more of a sweet flavor with a plain starchy texture and crunch.
When you find the courage to taste the turnip (if you haven’t come across the taste already) you will find that the taste mainly depends on its age. As the turnip grows, the taste becomes more bitter and spicier but the young turnip is much crispier and milder in taste.
What do Turnip Greens taste like?
Unlike the turnip itself, the leaves of the turnip are fresh, mild, and a bit sweeter in taste. They tend to be a little more concentrated if they are attached to a young turnip. Similar to the turnip, they are spicier and bitterer but they taste so good when mixed with salads or consumed raw.
On cooking turnip green, they lose much of its taste. So if you have leaves that belong to aged turnips, sautéing them in olive oil with a pinch of ground salt and a clove of crushed garlic will be a winning combination
Which Other Vegetables are similar to Turnip in taste?
Turnip and Rutabagas
These two vegetables almost taste the same as they belong to the same family, Brassica. Turnip and rutabagas are both cruciferous vegetables with sulfur-rich content.
In reality, rutabagas were initially thought to be the hybrid version of turnip and cabbage. For this, rutabagas are even known as Swedes or Sweedish turnip. Unlike turnip, which is harvested young to avoid the bitter and peppery taste of a grown-up turnip, rutabagas are left to be fully grown up as they get much bigger when they are finally ready to be harvested.
Turnips and Potatoes
Mashed potatoes with turnips are a great combination if you want to sneak veggies into your daily diet. Turnip blends seemingly well into your mashed potatoes without giving a surprise of flavors as they both somewhere taste sweeter.
Do turnips really taste like potatoes? For most people, it would be a straight no. They both can provide significantly different flavors when you taste one at a time. Their outlook may be somewhat similar and the texture too, but potatoes are much starchier than turnips. Turnips although leave its bitter and spicier taste when it is cooked, leaving only a sweeter and milder taste that gives a hint of potato.
However, they both can be a great substitute for one another in recipes. In many cases, where you want the solid chunks of the vegetable in your meal, they certainly do not give you the taste you might be looking for.
Turnips and Radishes
Radishes also belong to the family of Brassica that gives them a similar peppery flavor that can be found in rutabagas and turnips. However, the rich peppery flavor is more pronounced in the red radish form. A daikon radish with a milder taste resembles turnips in flavor where the texture of both vegetables is quite different.
An aged turnip looks nearly similar to the large white radish. Things that are common in turnip and radish include their greens that are mostly discarded and ignored even though they are high in nutritional content and taste delicious.
Are Raw Turnips edible?
Raw turnips are definitely edible as their thin slices add a crunch to your salads and sandwiches. They taste perfect when they are shredded in coleslaws and in even soups. But keep in mind to take young turnips if you want to consume them raw. Look for bulbs that are heavy but small and must not have wrinkles or cracks on the skin.
Can we replace Turnip with some Other Vegetables?
If you want to have a similar taste to turnip, rutabaga is a perfect option to look for. They both have the same texture and consistency and the only difference is rutabaga is slightly sweeter than a turnip. If the recipe wants the flavor of a turnip but you are not a fan of it, then you can add potatoes for the same finished results with not a noticeable difference in taste.
If the recipe demands raw turnip, then a combination of cabbage and radish will suit best. If it needs to be cooked, then cabbage with mustard greens will be a good fit for the recipe.
In both ways, you will get a slightly sulfurous taste with a sweet hint from the addition of cabbage as well as a slight peppery touch of mustard greens or radish. Avoid using radish in cooked meals as they lose their taste and become gooey when exposed to heat.
The Best Way to Cook Turnip
Turnips are incredibly versatile and it’s rare that you cook them incorrectly. The only step that can’t be ignored, is how you peel them. It is necessary to peel it via a Y-shaped peeler or if you’re good with the vegetable knife, fine peel them.
Turnips are often consumed roasted or boiled as a side dish – the taste can further be enhanced by topping them with herbs like basil, dill, and rosemary. They can also be added in place of potatoes to make sweet mashed creamy turnips.
If you’re planning to roast them, toss them in olive oil first with some dried or fresh spices that will enhance the flavor and give them extra crispiness. Roasted turnip becomes incredible in taste when tossed with some other rooted vegetables like carrots, beets, and of course potatoes.
What are the Tips to avoid the Bitter Taste of Turnips?
How can you embellish the taste of a turnip if you have aged turnip with a bitter taste? By following some useful culinary tips and treats like adding cream, salt, and butter.
Each of the three ingredients can cut the bitterness of any vegetable and add up creamy richness to your recipes. Even better, roast some garlic in olive oil first and toss the turnips with salt, cream, and butter, you can have the delicious treat as a side dish as well.
Are Turnips Healthy?
Turnip is highly nutritious as compared to many other vegetables on the grocery table. A medium-sized turnip can satiate many minerals and nutritional needs for the day. This rooted vegetable is high in carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins, fiber, folate, and low in calories.
The amount of vitamin K in a medium turnip is a recommended amount that prevents the blood from thinning and promotes blood clotting. The fiber content aids in digestion and vitamin C helps the body to maintain strong muscle function.
Nutritional Value of Turnip
A medium raw turnip of 122 grams contains
- Calories – 34.2 g
- Fiber – 2.2 g
- Carbs – 7.8 g
- Protein – 1.1 g
- Vitamin K – 30%
- Sugar – 4.6 g
- Vitamin C – 43%
- Folate – 5%
- Vitamin B6 – 5%
- Calcium – 4%
- Potassium – 7%
- Iron – 2%
To Wrap it up
So when you are aware of the nutritional facts and the way to cook turnips, why not take the plunge and see what turnips taste like? You might not like it, but adding its nutrients into your daily diet can help you get rid of many chronic diseases. We suggest you give it a try even if you want to mix it with some creams or wraps. How did you find it? Do let us know.