Differences Between Turnips and Rutabagas
The rutabaga is a glorious vegetable was actually known as a swede up until the 1960’s, when the name had to be changed as it was getting confused too often with the humble turnip. Both are root vegetables which belong to the Brassica family which also comprises cabbages. And this is interesting because the rutabaga is undoubtedly a cross between the cabbage and turnip. Although they are totally different, these two vegetables do have a comparable appearance. But what actually is the difference between turnips and rutabagas?
What Is A Turnip?
A turnip is a sturdy vegetable which has a crisp white skin and juicy white flesh. When growing, the part you see above ground will be more often than not purple in color. Frequently, the turnip root is tapering in shape as it grows into the ground before being dug up. Turnip leaves are regularly eaten as a green and are comparable in taste to mustard greens. They can be harvested in small batches before they become fully grown and baby turnips are an especially tasty treat.
Turnips can be red, yellow and orange and you might even find them a colorful addition to eat chopped up raw in you next salad. Turnips flourish in moist soil with lots of organic matter and are grown during the summer months. The smaller types are best for cooking with as they are often so much more tender, with the larger vegetables typically being used as animal feed. A turnip has a mild and beautifully sweet taste when cooked. The root also has high levels of vitamin C making it really good for you. Turnip leaves are additionally are packed with lots of vitamins and calcium.
What Is A Rutabaga?
Rutabaga is a mixture of a cabbage and turnip and is usually mistaken for a yellow turnip due to the nature of its outer appearance. Rutabagas are also harvested when they are much larger whereas turnips are often harvested as baby sized turnips. Rutabaga is a dense root vegetable and it also has many side shoots which sprout out from the root. You should find that leaves of rutabaga are waxy to the touch and feel really smooth. The root grows underground, and the leaves are the part of the vegetable that juts above the ground. There is a separate crown that rutabagas will appear to have which gives them an extra special appearance.
Rutabaga vs Turnip
While both turnips and rutabagas are a part of the same plant family, they are actually a totally different species that are frequently mistaken for one another. Many people do use them interchangeably when they are cooking, however it can be said that when used in cooked recipes, this where rutabagas outshine turnips. Rutabagas are larger and are typically waxed in anticipation for winter storage when you buy them from the store.
There are some differences in the way in which turnips and rutabagas are traditionally grown, but they are both thought of as a low-maintenance crop. The turnip does need a soil that is richer in organic matter and it needs much more watering, so in this way it could be said to be more demanding. The rutabaga has a smoother flavor than turnips and after you have cooked it becomes sweeter than a turnip does. A rutabaga will be much less starchy than a turnip, but it is just as satisfying. Small turnips are very tender and much more mild in taste so are better eaten raw. Where you need to cook rutabagas, more caution needs to be taken not to overcook it as they easily spoil
The big main difference between the turnip and the rutabaga is that the rutabaga is much more effortless to peel. This is because the outer peel is waxed which goes towards preserving it skins freshness so that it peels easily away with a sharp knife.
Turnips greens are generally used much more commonly than rutabagas greens. However, rutabagas greens can also be served up cooked, the tender leaves are not usually used in salad as the turnip’s greens.
Both vegetables are available the whole the year, but turnips are at their best between October and March while the rutabagas season runs from September to June. So, you will find that turnips will usually be a summer vegetable, while rutabagas have a tendency to be a winter vegetable. When thinking about storage, rutabagas are known to last far longer than turnips. Turnips can be kept in your refrigerator for around a week, whereas rutabagas will keep for about 2 weeks.
Cooking With Turnips And Rutabagas
As with countless other vegetables, turnips or rutabagas need to be selected based on how firm they are when you buy them, and whether or not they feel heavy for their size. Both rutabagas and turnips are able to be used in a diversity of interesting ways. They will both taste outstanding when you roast them, and they are frequently used as the important ingredient in soup and stew recipes. You can use them both a little like you would use a potato and serve them boiled or mashed.
- Stews and soups can be made with cubed rutabagas and turnips.
- Turnips make a tasty stir fry made with a simple soy sauce.
- Mashed up they can both be used as a filler in baked items such as cakes.
- They are both tasty when mashed with potatoes and butter.
- As a traditional Middle Eastern dish, they are often pickled in brine
- Raw shredded turnips are extensively contained within all types of fresh green salads.
What is the difference between turnip and rutabagas? Well, aside from the clear differences in the way that they look, and that they are usually different in size, they also need different growing conditions. The choice between rutabaga or turnip is really up to what you want to do with them. Both are popular hearty vegetables that you can eat regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle.