Feb 13, 2013

Turnip Purée. What’s in a Name?

Growing up, every Thanksgiving my mom would make “mashed turnips” to go along with all the other dishes. It was a tradition. I love them. And I never had much competition either. My brother didn’t like them. My dad also did not partake. It was such a simple dish of mashed turnips with butter and salt. I was intrigued by the contrast between the natural sweetness and slightly bitter taste.
Years passed and I never thought to make “mashed turnips” with any meal much less Thanksgiving. Then one day, oh about a year ago, I thought I would. I trekked to the grocery store to find my turnips. Well, guess what? It wasn’t turnips that my mom made every Thanksgiving… it was rutabagas! So what? No matter what she called it, it was delicious to me!
But what’s a rutabaga anyway? And what’s the difference? Some people call them “yellow turnips” but they are not exactly the same. Actually, a rutabaga is a CROSS between a turnip and a cabbage! Despite their differences, they are similar enough to be interchangeable in most recipes. While they are both root vegetables, rutabagas are slightly sweeter. When cooked, the flesh of a turnip turns from white to almost translucent, and a rutabaga’s flesh turns a yellow-orange. 
TURNIPS
RUTABAGA
Turnips offer a wide array of antioxidant support, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, manganese and beta-carotene. And the greens are right up there with kale and collards on the nutrient density scale! They also offer complex phytonutrient support, which helps stimulate antioxidant activity and increases the positive results of combatting free radical activity and preventing DNA damage to cells.
This recipe is so easy and is an elegant accompaniment to any meal. Instead of butter I use cashew butter which not only adds substance but a delicious natural sweetness as well. 
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium sized turnips, peeled and chopped into 3″ pieces
  • 3 TBS raw cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, or other non-dairy milk product
  • pinch of salt

Directions:
  1. Place chopped turnips in a pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce and simmer until tender.
  3. Drain.
  4. Place cooked turnips in a food processor with cashew butter and salt and process until smooth, adding milk a little at a time until you reach a desired consistency.
  5. Serve!

Serves 4 as a side dish. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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