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The nutritional properties of turnips

In Italy, turnips are a well-known vegetable, though not particularly well-liked. In actuality, turnips are not currently among the most popular vegetables because they were historically connected to a low-class and “excessively” popular diet. Nonetheless, they have the potential to provide immense gratification, mostly due to their delicious flavour and their excellent nutritional composition. Among other things, they are also easily available and not too demanding in terms of soil and climate; in fact, they also grow in the wild.

In any case, it is a dietary vegetable; in fact, 100 grammes of turnips provide only 20 kcal. They still offer a respectable amount of vitamin C, although their vitamin content is not particularly varied. Among the mineral salts, we find potassium, phosphorus, and iron (less than the average vegetable, though). The most noteworthy feature, though, is that they are packed with antioxidants, which guard the cardiovascular system, control the processes involved in cellular regeneration, and even help ward off cancer.

The few varieties of turnips

There are not many varieties of turnips because botanists have not given them much attention. In any case, the edible part, which is the root, must be examined in order to identify any differences. From this point of view, two varieties are worth mentioning: the red one and the white one.

The red variety is characterised by a colour that tends towards red and purple. The colour is due to a greater presence of anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. The spherical form of the root is similar to that of an onion.

The white variant is distinguished by its white hue and somewhat compressed form. Its delicate flavour and better adaptability make it more valued in the cooking process than the red variety. It is considered a natural anti-inflammatory.

Turnips in the kitchen

Turnips are typically consumed as a side dish after being lightly boiled and seasoned with vinegar, salt, and oil. They can also be used to make delicious soups and thick stews. When combined with other ingredients, they can be used in the preparation of creamy soups.

The best-known and most appreciated use of turnips (especially the white ones) is in the preparation of giardiniera, a “pickled” preserve widely used in the preparation of rice salad.