There are those people who have been avoiding turnips in the grocery stores. But on the contrary, they don't know that turnips are the easy-to-grow root crops in the same family as cauliflowers and cabbage. In the first year of the turnips' life, the plants produce a rosette consisting of green basal leaves growing on long petioles. In shape, they resemble a lyre, and the stem foliage is egg-shaped with a jagged edge. The turnip blooms very beautifully with small petals of a bright golden yellow or pale matte yellow color.
Flowers are collected in large spherical brushes. The brown seeds of the plant are hidden in short-nosed pods. The shape of the grains is similar to spherical, but it cannot be called such since it is slightly irregular. Under the ground, turnip hides a thickened fleshy root, yellow, white, lilac, or greenish. The weight of a vegetable can vary from 100 grams to 2 kilograms, and the shape can be round, elongated, or flattened.
What Do Turnips Taste Like?
The taste of turnips is often described as that of a carrot or cabbage, but slightly sweeter. Raw turnips come with a crunchy and crisp texture, but they become mushier and softer when cooked. Most of the time, they are eaten raw and can be grated in salads or even used in coleslaw dishes with light dressing like mayonnaise.
The leaves are edible and have a peppery taste. They need to be eaten at a young age for the best flavor. Some people prefer eating them boiled or raw, while others like them when fried, steamed, mashed into stews and soups, stirred, or roasted. Turnips can also be eaten the way they are or juiced with some carrots for a low-calorie and healthy alternative.
How To Grow Turnips at Home
As a rule, this plant is planted at home for tasty and healthy reasons. The good news is that the turnips are quite can grow well at a temperature of between 7 and 24 ° C. They can withstand temperature changes and, at the same time, ripen quite quickly. Within two to three months, with proper care, you will receive a harvest. Turnips love the garden soil, which has a combination of river sand. Every 5 kilograms of soil should be flavored with a glass of ash. To grow these root crops, it is best to prepare large wooden boxes 8 to 10 centimeters high.
Mix the turnip kernels with sand at \1: 3 and place them in the soil to a depth of about 2 centimeters. The holes should be 5 centimeters apart. It is best to do this in late winter or early spring, in February or March. When you have completed all these procedures, cover the seeds with foil and wait for the first shoots to appear. Then the foil is removed after turnips have germinated. The plants are thinned out so that a distance of at least 5-6 centimeters is formed between the bushes.
The turnips grow well when it is watered with warm water, moreover, with stable water. The foliage is also sprayed where the tops of the root crops will turn out to be juicy and tender. When your turnips grow to a diameter of 4-5 centimeters, you can safely harvest.
What To Cook with Turnips?
Turnips are worth eating not only for their medicinal properties but also for their culinary virtues. The vegetable has a characteristic tart taste; therefore, it becomes a delicious ingredient in salads. It is enough to grate the fruit on a grater with large cells, mix with sour cream or yogurt, add lemon juice, and season to taste with salt, sugar, and pepper. You can diversify the salad by adding carrots, apples, cranberries, raisins, nuts, or honey.
Young turnip leaves are good for salads, cold cakes, filling for pancakes or pies. Also, you can make pesto or juice with them. Turnips can be boiled, baked, or fried. Thick slices lightly sprinkled with salt and dried herbs and sprinkled with oil are delicious when grilled. These vegetables can be added to soups and stews. Likewise, turnip puree will completely replace the usual potato.
How To Choose and Store Turnips
When choosing the turnips, you need to pay attention to their peel; they should be smooth, without spots or damage. It is better to buy small turnips because they are sweeter and less bitter. Turnip comes in many varieties. The yellow one is juicy, which has a bright taste and, at the same time, is quite fibrous. White is less aromatic, easier to digest, and is more suitable for baby food. Green flavors are like radish. Black turnip is rarely used for food, as it tastes very bitter.
In the underground in the sand, root crops can be stored from autumn to spring. Due to high humidity and poor ventilation, turnips are stored for no more than a couple of months. At room temperature in a dark place, these vegetables can lie for a maximum of several weeks. When stored for too long, they can start to taste bitter. If you peel and chop the turnips, they can be kept in the freezer for several months.
Turnips are not only delicious, but also they have a wide range of health benefits. To make them tender and soft, you need to cook them. Turnips are versatile because they can be mashed, roasted, or even while raw. The texture of the root is crunchy and crisp. If you eat large and ripe turnips, they taste more spicy and woody. So, you can continue and try to add them to your next meal.