Rutabaga

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Name: Rutabaga
Genre: Root Vegetable
Nickname: Swede, Swedish Turnip

Rutabagas! Fall's unsung root vegetable hero! Although it has a quite mangled appearance, the rutabaga (or swede, as it is called in the UK) is a rather tasty root vegetable with a sweet and slightly nutty taste, like a squash. It is thought to be a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and its skin is a peculiar, deep-violet color, resembling that of the Adirondack blue potato. Its flesh is a vibrant yellow or orange color. In spite of their distinctive taste, rutabagas remain subtle, which makes them a wonderful addition to stews and other hearty dishes.

History
The first known written reference to rutabagas appears in a text from 1620 by a Swiss botanist. Rutabagas were reported in the United States in 1817, although they are not a very common vegetable. Rutabagas were once used as jack-o-lanterns to ward off evil spirits in Ireland and Scotland during early Halloween festivals.

Cooking
Rutabagas are prepared in stews, as a mash when mixed with carrots, or roasted. In Europe, rutabagas are a staple of Finnish food and are julienned, served alongside meat dishes, boiled and featured in salads.

Appetizer: Rutabaga and Apple Casserole
Main: Homemade Beef Stew with Rutabaga
Side: Rutabaga and Carrot Mash
Dessert: Rutabaga Pie

Nutrition & Health
1 cup of raw rutabaga contains:
50 calories
0 grams of fat
28 mg of sodium
11 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of proteins
0 vitamin A
58% vitamin C
7% calcium
4% iron

Because rutabagas contain no cholesterol, they are good for your heart! They are also an excellent source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese. They are also a good source of dietary fiber.

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