Vegucation: Turnips

Turnips are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli to name a few. The turnip greens are probably more commonly used than the root of the vegetable, but both offer plenty of health benefits and flavor!

Why are they beneficial?

Cruciferous veggies have been known to decrease the risk of cancer because of their antioxidants and phytochemicals. Turnips also have a lot of vitamin K which supports a healthy heart and healthy blood. They are also high in folate, which is important for development and the cardiovascular system. Overall, turnips are a very heart-healthy vegetable.

When are they in season?

Turnips’ peak season is in the fall. Although they are a root vegetable, their leaves can still be sprayed with pesticides, so always try to buy organic when possible.

How long will they keep?turnips in ground

Once you get your turnips, cut the greens off the root and store them separately. The unwashed greens will last a few days in the refrigerator, while the roots will last a couple weeks in the refrigerator.

How can I prepare them?

You can use turnips just like any other root vegetable. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Chop the roots up and boil them. Then mash them and season them for an alternative to mashed potatoes.
  • Roughly chop the greens and add them to soups or stews.
  • Roast the roots with other fall veggies like carrots or butternut squash.
  • Add the diced root to a beef stew.
  • Make classic southern turnip greens.


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Meet the Author


Rachel Howard

Rachel is studying to become a registered dietician at UTC. She believes eating real food is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and loves to teach others about nutrition. Rachel enjoys planning healthy and tasty meals and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. She likes the challenge of trying to make classic family recipes healthier or learning new cooking techniques.