Rutabagas are a type of annual or perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. They grow up to 10 feet tall with dark green leaves that are edible when cooked. The seeds contain high amounts of beta carotene which gives them their name. These plants have been used for centuries in folk medicine, but only recently has research begun to explore its potential medical uses. There are many different types of rutabagas, each with their own unique flavor and medicinal properties. Rota species include: Ruta graveolens , Ruta maxima , Ruta minuta , Ruta orientalis , and Ruta luteoviridis .
The scientific name for rutabaga is Lagenaria chiloensis. It was first described in 1869 by German botanist Friedrich Kühner. The genus name comes from the Latin word “rutum” meaning “turnip”.
Rutabagas are grown primarily for their edible root (called rutabaga) and leaf (known as kohlrabi). However, they are also commonly eaten raw. Both forms of consumption may confer some health benefits.
A rutabaga (Brassicaceae family) is a root vegetable that is commonly found in the United States, Europe, and some parts of Asia. The rutabaga has become increasingly popular in the United States since the 1980s.
The rutabaga is a type of turnip grown for its enlarged root. The root is high in carbohydrate and Vitamin C while the leaves are also edible and can be eaten cooked or raw. In addition, the leaves contain essential amino acids and are high in Beta Carotene which converts to Vitamin A in the body.
Mostly you will find that the rutabaga has a yellowish hue, although some varieties have a purple or white base with green leaves. The flesh is white and the taste is firm and creamy. Its leaves can range from green to a dark purple which is the most common color of them. The root is the part eaten and they are usually harvested when young as the older ones can become too woody to eat.
As mentioned, the leaves of the rutabaga cannot be eaten raw but they can be eaten lightly cooked. The roots themselves are good either boiled or roasted and can also be used in stews and soups. However you cook rutabagas, make sure you always peel them first as their skin can be very tough and not very palatable.
Rutabagas are most often used in savory dishes such as stew, soup, and dumplings. They can also be used in desserts such as the classic Apple Pie recipe that uses rutabagas as an ingredient. The flesh of the rutabaga also lends itself very well to making jams, compotes, and even wine. However you wish to eat your rutabagas they are a tasty vegetable that is good for you too.
Today rutabagas are found in most vegetable markets and can range anywhere from $1.00 to $3.50 per pound. They are best eaten cooked but it is important to eat them in moderation as they are high in carbohydrate and can cause weight gain if over consumed.
The rutabaga not only tastes good, it is also very good for you. It has been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce some cancer risks and contains many essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Also, rutabagas are high in fiber and juice so they help keep the digestive system running smoothly.
The rutabaga (Brassicaceae family) is a root vegetable that most people either love or hate. It has a flavor that can range from sweet to nutty to bland, all of which are determined by the age of the vegetable and how it was cooked.
It is a biennial plant that is grown for its enlarged taproot. The stem grows to about two feet tall and the leaves can either be yellowish-green or purple. The rutabaga is usually planted in the spring and harvested in the late fall.
Rutabagas are a cross between the cabbage and the turnip and share some of their characteristics. The older the rutabaga is, the sweeter it tastes so it is best to harvest them as soon as possible after they reach maturity.
The rutabaga has been cultivated since the 16th century in eastern Europe. It was at one time called the Swedish turnip and is still greatly enjoyed in Scandinavian countries as well as Great Britain.
It is also known as the “Swedish turnip” or “Neep” which comes from the Scottish word for turnip. The name rutabaga comes from the term “rotabagas” which means “broken bag”, referring to when the roots are broken or bruised.
The rutabaga is often compared to the cabbage; it is very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A as well as some B vitamins. It also contains a nice amount of dietary fiber and some proteins.
In Great Britain it is often eaten in a traditional way when cooked alongside mashed potatoes and eaten with thick yellow or brown English mustard. It is a great way to increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you get from your diet. It’s also a great way to increase your fiber intake as well.
The rutabaga is also slightly sweet and has been used in many Swedish desserts such as the “Potatiskaka” or “Potato Cake” where the potato cake is made with a base of mashed potatoes and the rutabagas are added in along with sugar, some spices and butter.
The rutabaga is a very hardy food and can be stored for a long period of time if it is stored and kept properly. It can be canned, frozen or just kept in your basement or root cellar. If you choose to can the rutabagas make sure you follow proper canning procedures.
The rutabaga is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten at any meal. It can be mashed, sliced, diced, julienned or even made into soup. It also pairs well with other root vegetables such as carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes.
Rutabagas are usually available all year long but their peak season is in the fall and winter months. When purchasing rutabagas look for ones that are firm and free of blemishes, bruises or soft spots. Avoid any that seem to have dried out or have begun to sprout.
Rutabaga can be found in most markets either in the canned food aisle or in bags or boxes of loose vegetables. Either one is still usable it just depends on what you prefer.
There is a bit of work that goes into rutabagas before you can prepare them for eating. Since their skin is quite thick and tough it must be peeled off before eating. This can be done by either using a knife to peel it or if you’re in a hurry you can simply squeeze the vegetable against a hard surface and the skin should crack and flake off.
They can be eaten either raw or cooked. The rutabaga has a naturally sweet taste that can only be enhanced by cooking so most people prefer them cooked. Either way, the rutabaga is a great way to get an added serving of vegetables into your diet.
One of the simplest and most common ways to prepare rutabagas is to simply boil them until soft then mash them up with butter, cream, salt and pepper. They can also be sliced into thin circles and fried in butter. This will give them a nice soft texture while still keeping them quite soft.
There are many recipes out there for rutabagas. Most of them include the rutabaga either mashed or cubed and served as a side dish to accompany your meal. It can be served with almost any meat, fish or even as a compliment to your breakfast eggs and bacon. It’s really quite a versatile vegetable once you get the hang of cooking it.
The rutabaga is one of those vegetables that doesn’t get the love that it should. It’s affordable, easy to store and great for you so the next time you’re shopping in the grocery store take a moment to pick up a rutabaga or two and give it a try. You might be surprised at how tasty they are.
Sources & references used in this article:
Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature by MAS Van Duyn, E Pivonka – Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2000 – Elsevier
AARP The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young by L Cordain – 2012 – books.google.com
Serotonin, melatonin, and certain indole derivatives profiles in rutabaga and kohlrabi seeds, sprouts, bulbs, and roots by P Pasko, K Sulkowska–Ziaja, B Muszynska… – LWT-Food Science and …, 2014 – Elsevier
Health benefits of vegetables by V Ramya, P Patel – IJCS, 2019 – researchgate.net