Hail The Hakurei Turnip

The Hakurei Turnip, also known as salad turnips, is a small white turnip from Japan.  They do not need to be cooked like other varieties, are not as spicy and are much more sweet.     I love turnips, all turnips, but the Hakurei can be chopped raw in a salad, sliced in a sandwich, sliced as a cracker, cubed for a snack.  They are part of the Brassica family-cabbage/cruciferous- like broccoli and kale.  The leafy greens of the turnip are edible, and are actually more nutritious than the turnip itself! Not only are they delicious and versatile, but loaded with vitamins and minerals, however their nutritional value is depleted , as with any vegetable, if you boil them.  Turnips lower blood pressure, and help prevent cancer:

  • High in fiber-lowering all kinds of health risks and making you feel full
  •  Vitamins-vitamins C, B's (nervous system function, help with fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, healthy skin, hair, eyes, liver)
  • Minerals- Calcium, potassium, small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus
  • Low in calories-51 calories per mashed cup (200 calories for potato).

 Preparing these turnip are simple.  If you happen to have your turnip with green tops in tact, remove the greens as soon as you can;  the greens will actually leach nutrients from the turnip.  The greens should be washed thoroughly and can be used raw or cooked, thrown in with your salad, soup, sandwich, or sautéed on low heat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Store unwashed greens in a plastic bag and they should keep for a couple of weeks, but again, the vitamins and minerals are depleted.  

How to eat them?  Wash thoroughly.  I use a veggie spray or soak and use a vegetable brush.

 The Hakurei Turnip should not need peeled.     Don't be afraid to just add them to anything.  Throw them in a casserole or roasting pan by themselves or other veggies in a 400 degree oven, toss with olive oil and roast in the oven, turning with a spoon occasionally.  You don't want to miss these recipes.  Turnips have become quite popular in the New York City restaurants.  Please click on the recipe link below.

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