Search This Blog

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Low Carbohydrate Prolific Turnips

Most of my vegetables I grew this summer are now blackened by frost, but not so the wonderful turnips and kale. These turnips were planted at the midsummer window, July 15, for sowing cool season plants so that they will attain sufficient size by frost to overwinter in my zone 8 (but with lows sometimes in the zone 6-7 range) garden.   This year I tried a new turnip, Bianca Colleto Viola, from Gourmet Seeds of Italy.  It is elongated and so ends up actually larger than round turnips I have grown, like Purple Top, and sticks up out of the ground, very easy to size up for harvest.  They get very large, these I picked today weigh 4 lbs. (1.8kg)  together.
 Even though large, they are nicely textured on the inside, juicy, sweet, and tender-
They can be grated for a mild radish-like addition to a salad, dressed up with herbs like dill as a stand-alone salad, or used in strips for a vegetable tray.  Since they are lower in carbohydrates than potatoes, 5.1g per 100g  versus 20g  per 100g, they are excellent as a replacement in diets to avoid raising the blood sugar, like the Zone diet, or other health diets.   Potatoes have a glycemic load of 9 and an Inflammation Factor of -59 (Nutrition Data)  while turnips are healthier with a glycemic load of 1 and Inflammation Factor of -1!    Turnips can be substituted for potatoes in most recipes, though they are higher in moisture content so adjustments may be necessary, or they can be grated or sliced and salted for a while to drain off or squeeze out some water.  Turnips are very good mashed like potatoes, but steaming will result in drier cooked turnips that will mash better.  Milk, cream, or sour cream can be added along with butter, and herbs of your choice, like dill, rosemary, or parsley, along with pepper and salt as preferred.  Or use olive oil, coconut oil, or your favorite vegan choices when mashing.   Turnips can also be used in stir fries, or fried in butter until brown and simmered until tender, alone or with onions, meat, or other vegetables.  They can be made into gratins with a white sauce, onions, and cheese.  They can be roasted alone or with meats along with onions, whole garlic cloves, carrots, celery, seasoned with bay leaves, thyme, and pepper.  The Victory Garden Cookbook, by Marian Morash, is an excellent source of recipes for these and other vegetables.

So, in addition to enjoying a seemingly endless supply of turnips from my two thickly sown 15'x3' beds, I like the greens and especially the new growth that will spring forth in late winter/early spring.  By then the roots will not be edible but the abundance of greens and flower buds will supply vegetables for the table when otherwise there would be none.  Bon Apetit!


No comments:

Post a Comment