The world of gastronomy is very wide and varied. There are so many recipes to prepare and so many possible combinations. There are foods for all tastes, which can be prepared in different ways, all of them admissible.
On the other hand, there are many types of species, each of which is responsible for providing a unique and special flavor. Others enhance the natural flavors of food and some more serve to decorate the dishes with all the grace with which a true artist would do it.
Perhaps for these reasons, many people have taken it upon themselves to study this art and make it part of their lives. While there are those who use it as a therapeutic way to release daily stress from work and other obligations.
However, despite all of the above, it is important to bear in mind that the vast majority of what we use for cooking has nutritional value. In addition, they provide great health benefits, as is the case with fruits and vegetables.
When you know what each thing is for, you can get the most out of it and enjoy its advantages. If you ignore them, then you will be missing out on the wonderful bounties of Mother Nature.
A clear example of this is the humble turnip. This is a vegetable that is very frequently found in supermarkets, despite the fact that it is not as popular among those who cook, either as a hobby, necessity or profession.
However, since it has great properties and benefits, it claims a place in current gastronomy anywhere in the world. In addition, it has a wide variety and can be prepared in many ways.
Would you like to know what the properties and benefits of the turnip are? If so, you can stop reading this interesting and instructive article for nothing.
This is a very important vegetable from which you can take advantage of each of its parts, which includes its roots and leaves. It belongs to the same family as broccoli, cabbage and watercress and is typical of the cold and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.
Its flesh or pulp is white and covered by a thin yellow, white, and green or, in some cases, purple skin. Its shape varies between round, flattened and cylindrical. Its size and weight depend on the variety, although it is usually between 12 and 15 centimeters in length. Its flavor is similar to that of cabbage, but a little sweeter.
It is believed that this vegetable was part of the diet of the tribes that populated Europe, although some consider that it comes from central Asia.
Although there are many varieties of turnips, these are the most popular:
- Tallow Turnip: Usually small in size and creamy white in color. In addition, it is one of the most valued turnip varieties.
- May turnip: as its name indicates, it is available in the market from the month of May until June. Its color is white and its shape is spherical.
- Fall turnip: This variety is sown during the summer and harvested in the fall. Its meat is white and its skin can be red or green. In relation to its size, it is larger than the mayo and has a much more intense flavor.
- Turnip stains – Its neck is usually purple. In relation to its leaves, these are medium in size and have a good texture.
- Virtues-hammers: they are white and have an elongated shape, although narrow in the central area. Its meat is white, with a tender texture and a sweet taste.
- Snowball: as its name indicates, it has a round shape and measures just 8 centimeters in diameter. It has smooth skin and is white. In addition, it has a very delicate flavor.
- Japanese or kabuki: it can only be obtained in specialized stores and has a more intense flavor than other turnips.
When buying them in the market, discard those specimens that are very large, that have marks on the skin or whose roots are fibrous. If they are sold in bundles, choose those whose necks have a fresh green appearance.
At home, it is recommended that you remove the leaves and keep the roots in previously perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator. In this state, they can be kept for up to three weeks.
Do not wash it until the moment you are going to use it. That way you will avoid the loss of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You can also keep them frozen, as long as they have been previously scalded in boiling water for about 2 or 3 minutes.
Now, as we have mentioned, the turnip is more than a simple cooking ingredient, it also has many benefits and properties that you need to know about.
What do you need
Its properties have a favorable effect on health and help you stay healthy, some of them are:
- Helps control weight. Since it has a low caloric index, you can include it in your diet without any regrets. In addition, because it is rich in fibers, it helps to feel full and improves intestinal transit, acting against the symptoms of constipation. It is ideal for those who want to have a healthy diet, as it helps the body eliminate unwanted fat.
- They have high vitamin content, among them are vitamin C and foliate. In addition to the vitamins belonging to group B. Since it contains vitamin C, it acts as an antioxidant and in the formation of collagen, bones, teeth and red blood cells. Thus, it allows iron to be absorbed from food and increases resistance to infections.
- Foliates contribute to the production of red and white blood cells, as well as immune system antibodies, making us less likely to get sick.
- It contains potassium, a vital mineral for the process of transmission and generation of nerve impulses and for muscle activity.
- Since it contains iodine, it stimulates the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating metabolism.
- Due to its pectoral powers, it is used to treat respiratory problems, such as the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throat and other similar discomforts that are caused by infections.
- Within the aesthetic part, it helps skin care and the growth of nails and hair. All this, thanks to the fact that it is a vegetable rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamin C. In addition, its consumption contributes to good blood circulation in the body, which favors people who suffer from dry or damaged skin.
- It also stands out the fact that it tends to successfully eliminate uric acid from the blood through urine, which makes it useful in cases of Gout. In addition, it helps to improve the ailments caused by arthritis.
- Since in its composition there is a high level of water, its high level of potassium and low sodium content, it acts as an excellent natural diuretic, favoring fluid loss.
- Its glucometers decrease the proliferation of cancer cells, which makes it an important vegetable in cancer prevention.
Regarding its composition, we can say that for every 100 grams of turnip we have 24.7 calories, 90.5 ml of water, 5 g of calories, 2.8 g of fiber, 0.8 g of carbohydrates, 240 mg of potassium, 34 mg of phosphorus, 23 mg of vitamin C, 20 micrograms of iodine and 14 of foliate.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that turnip greens or turnip leaves provide many more nutrients than the turnip itself. In fact, they contain almost twice the protein and fiber of the root. In addition, they are an important source of calcium.
They are superior in terms of provitamin A or beta-carotene, vitamin C and foliate. Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A in our body and provides an antioxidant action. This vitamin is ideal for vision, for the good condition of skin and hair, as well as for mucous membranes, bones and for the immune system to function properly.
Thanks to its high foliate content, it is highly recommended for the diet of pregnant women, since this vitamin plays an important role in ensuring the proper development of the baby’s neural tube. Especially during the first weeks of pregnancy.
When there is foliate deficiency, the baby can develop diseases such as spine bifida or anencephaly. Also, floats are needed during the development of children. Therefore, by including the turnip in your diet, you will be preventing certain deficiencies.
Now that you are aware of all its advantages, you probably want to know recipes to be able to eat it in various ways and thus get the most out of it. Therefore, follow these recommendations.
One of the recipes, which include turnips, that you can make at home, is the following:
Cauliflower and turnip cream with sautéed mushrooms
For this recipe, have these ingredients on hand: 1 cauliflower, 2 cloves of garlic, 30 g of bread from the day before, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, 1 turnip, 200 g of mushrooms, 1 vegetable broth tablet and salt.
Its preparation is very simple:
- Put the water to heat in a saucepan. Meanwhile, wash the cauliflower and loosen it in florets that you will put into the water.
- Peel and chop the turnip and add it to the pan along with the vegetable stock cube. Then cover it and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Remove part of the broth and keep it in case it is needed later.
- Peel and chop the garlic. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add the garlic and then the chopped parsley.
- Pour everything into the pot where the cauliflower and turnip are. Process everything and reserve. If you notice that the cream is too thick, you can lighten it with a little of the broth you reserved.
- Cut the bread into half-moons and fry it in the pan with oil. Then she lets them drain on a plate covered with absorbent paper.
- Clean the mushrooms and cut them into thin slices. Sauté those in a pan with oil and season with salt.
- Finally, serve the cream together with some croutons, some sautéed mushrooms and parsley to decorate.
This is just one of the many ways you can prepare your turnips. You can make them in soups, stews, salads and much more. It will suffice to consult any recipe book or on the Internet to have access to many varied recipes with which you can surprise your whole family.
In addition, it is important to remember the fact that it is a vegetable that has many properties and benefits. In fact, it has very few contraindications or disadvantages, among which the fact that it causes flatulence and makes digestion difficult due to its high sulfur content stands out. In such a way that it is contraindicated in the case of people who present some type of digestive disorder.
If you start to include it in your daily diet, you will not regret having done so. Especially if you are a woman and you are pregnant or if you have children in the development stage. In view of its great contributions to health, it is urgent to include it again in our diet. In this way, we will be contributing to the prevention of various diseases.