As a raw vegan, my diet is largely comprised of veggies and fruits. No surprise right? It’s my goal to introduce and revisit produce that I haven’t used for quite awhile, and rutabagas are one of these. Rutabagas are a forgotten veggie that deserves much more attention than it gets.
Rutabagas are root veggies that sport a lovely robust two toned physique, a yellow body with purple shoulders. They got their start way back in the middle ages and have made their way all over the world. They are only called Rutabaga’s in North America, throughout the rest of world, they’re called ‘swedes.’ The name Rutabaga is derived from the Swedish word rotabagge, which means ’round or ram root’. It is thought to be a hybrid between the turnip and wild cabbage. They are part of the cabbage family and often confused with turnips.
Many countries use rutabaga’s in lieu of potatoes because they’re nutrient rich and uber low in calories. Rutabagas contain low amounts of fat, protein and carbs, and they’re cholesterol free and moderate in fiber. Just one cup of this mild tasting veggie yields 3 grams of fiber. They contain 19 mL of vitamin C per 100 gram serving. We all know how important vitamin C is for our immune system, skin health, cardiovascular disease, eye disease, prenatal health, and overall healing.
Rutabaga’s also boast modest amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A, or retinol is essential for our eyes, immune system, cell growth and it also helps the skin and mucous membranes repel viruses and bacteria more effectively. They also have healthy amounts of beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells from the damaging effects of harmful free radicals. There’s also decent amounts of iron which carries oxygen throughout the whole body. Rutabagas also contain healthy amounts of potassium and manganese for used energy and proper heart function, B6 which supports the nervous system, calcium for healthy bones, magnesium for temperature regulation and transmission of nerves impulses, and phosphorus for strengthening our bones and teeth.
There is no doubt that adding this worthy vegetable to our diet will have numerous benefits. Eating this chubby veggie is quite enjoyable. Most rutabagas are waxed, so you’ll need to peel the tough outer skin unless you are lucky enough to buy direct from a farmer or grow your own. They can be eating raw, steamed, baked, broiled, or roasted, so they’re quite versatile. They can be chopped, diced, sliced, cubed or grated. There are umpteen recipes online, from soups, salads, casseroles, to stir-frys. I found the following recipe online and it’s absolutely delicious! Enjoy!
Fall Slaw with Maple Tahini Dressing
- 2 apples, one chopped, one grated
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 carrots
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and shredded
- 1 kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1. Place apples in bowl. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon over the apples and stir.
2. Add the rest of ingredients and stir to combine.
Maple Tahini Dressing
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup water
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, yakon syrup or agave
- pinch Himalayan Salt (optional)
1. Whisk all ingredients together.
2. Pour over slaw and mix well.