Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 3 Reasons to Eat Rutabaga

The Rutabaga is a root vegetable that looks very much like a turnip with yellow-orange flesh and ridges at its neck. Although this beta carotene-rich vegetable has been grown and marketed in our country for nearly 200 years, it remains an uncommon food in American dining. It's actually a great tasting vegetable with a delicate sweetness and flavor that hints of the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. With its easy preparation and versatility, great nutrition, and excellent flavor, the rutabaga can easily become an endearing family favorite.

1.       Rutabagas store so well, up to one month in the refrigerator and up to four months in commercial storage at 32 degrees, they are available year round. When buying rutabagas, select the ones that are yellow to tan in color and have a smooth, unblemished skin with no signs of wrinkling or shriveling. For cleaning rutabagas, scrub them first and peel in case the skin is thick or wax coated.

2.       Rutabagas are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They're also a good source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and an excellent source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.

3.       Rutabagas can be steamed, boiled and mashed, sautéed, baked or roasted. They make a great addition to soups and dishes with a little sweetness like honey or dried fruit. Rutabagas make an excellent dish when mashed with an equal amount of potatoes. Cut the rutabagas into cubes and boil them. Toss them with raisins, chopped walnuts and a little honey. Rutabagas are great when served fresh in salads or chopped up and served with crunchy vegetables as a snack.

Turnip and Rutabaga Stir-Fry

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)


·         2 teaspoons vegetable oil

·         2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         2 cups (3-inch) julienne-cut peeled turnip (about 1/2 pound)

·         2 cups (3-inch) julienne-cut peeled rutabaga (about 1/2 pound)

·         1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and each cut in half lengthwise

·         1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

·         3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

·         2 teaspoons cornstarch

·         2 teaspoons mirin (sweet rice wine)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add turnip and rutabaga; stir-fry 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Add sugar snap peas; stir-fry 30 seconds.

Combine broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and mirin in a small bowl; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Adapted from Cooking Light

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