rutabaga

OK, so you got a weird purple or yellow tuber in your CSA box. It’s got a pretty cool name…rrrrrrrrutabaga! But what the heck do you do with it? In spite of its rarity on the American dinner table, a rutabaga can be used much like the more common stable tubers like carrots and potatoes. And diversifying the vegetables you eat regularly can have big nutritional benefits. Try rutabaga gratin, mashed rutabagas and creamy rutabaga soup or any of these rustic rutabaga recipes.

Rutabagas are packed with vitamin C–about 60 percent of your daily allowance in just one cup–and potassium, about 25 percent of your daily allowance. Rutabagas are also high in calcium and vitamin B6, and are high in protein for a vegetable, with 1.7 grams per cup, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. So, switch out your carrots and potatoes this winter to make room for a new vegetable in your family favorites.

How to Prepare Rutabagas

Rutabagas can be boiled, roasted, sauteed or even steamed just like any other root vegetable. And, like the other root vegetables, the rutabaga’s natural sweetness is brought out best with roasting. If you’re not sure about the rutabaga, but you want to add the nutrients to your diet, try pureeing cooked rutabaga and adding it to a sauce or mixing it half-an-half with mashed potatoes. You could also add a layer of rutabaga puree to a cheese quesadilla for a healthy kid-friendly meal. 

Rutabaga Recipes

Check out these tasty rutabaga recipes or enjoy a few of your own potato or carrot recipes with a rutabaga twist.

  1. Red Lentil and Rutabaga Soup: This hearty vegan soup is packed with protein and nutrients.
  2. Potato and Rutabaga Gratin: A blend of potatoes and rutabagas makes this dish delightfully familiar, yet it packs an extra nutrient punch.
  3. Clean Eating Rutabaga Fries: Looking for something a little snacky? Try these healthy, baked rutabaga fries.
  4. Roots Anna: This rustic recipe puts a rutabaga twist on a traditional French potato dish.
  5. Rutabaga Masala: A hearty Indian dish with a new twist.
  6. Rutabaga-topped Shepherd’s Pie: Try a mashed rutabaga topping on your next shepherd’s pie.
  7. Roasted Root Veggies with Hazelnuts: Go simple with this blend of roasted root vegetables and hazelnuts.
  8. Rutabaga Puffs: Mashed, baked rutabagas with a hint of sweetness.

Still not sure what to try with your rutabagas? Check out this Rutabagas Pinterest Board. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite dishes, too.  Or try some of our parsnips recipes using rutabagas instead. And, if you need to know how to handle the rest of your CSA box and farmers market finds, try these tips for preparing autumn harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter and Pinterest.

Image: QueenaSookKim