Saturday, March 15, 2014

Turn to Low-Carbs with Turnips

Adding a new 'good for you' food item to our diet can be rewarding. As we learn about unfamiliar ingredients, especially those that introduce enormous amounts of health benefits to our diet, we should embrace and learn to love them. It is very important to gain knowledge of not only the benefits, nutritional values and possible side effects, but also ways to prepare and serve them. Yes, there is that element of rejection, especially if kids are involved in the equation.  How to present them is as important as how they taste.

Turnips are ‘non-starchy' vegetables, and they have less than a quarter of the amount of carbohydrates found in potatoes. Each cup of turnips contains 4.2 grams of total carbohydrates while an equivalent serving of potatoes contains 13.5 grams. So, turnips are great choices for people who follow a low-carb diet.  Both turnips and potatoes contain fiber, a type of carbohydrate not absorbed by your body. Fiber helps maintain your digestive health and can lower your cholesterol. Turnips are often overlooked and left behind at the stores. They are odd looking, and some of us don’t know what to do with them, therefore, we just don’t buy them.  It is kind of sad that we don’t use turnips often in our cooking. When they are young and fresh, they are delicious just roasted in the oven. Use them in any dish you would use potatoes to enjoy a meal with a little less guilt.

Simply wash, peel and cut the same as you would a potato.  They can be used in any number of soups, stews and other dishes that normally call for potatoes. Their soft texture and mild flavor blend really well with the seasonings used in most recipes. Just for the record, I do not like turnip greens and I would understand if you are hesitant to try the roots if you don't like greens as well. Nevertheless, after introducing them in a few dishes, turnips are becoming a staple in our household (our kids never realized that turnips were even used). Give them a try!

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