The “Turnip Hash Browns” were so good I went to the grocery store again (a different one) searching for another turnip. The one I found looked similar – slightly larger and more yellow – and the sticker said “Rutabaga”. Having eaten both turnips and rutabagas, I knew rutabagas are typically more yellow than turnips. So the darker color of this one made sense to me. When I continued to look for turnips I only found some smallish, bright white and purple turnips that were not waxed. So I went ahead and bought the rutabaga thinking I could easily make the same hash browns recipe with it. Once it was shredded I noticed, even though it was slightly more yellow than what I thought was a turnip, it tasted EXACTLY the same. So I posed the question on the Paleo Spirit Facebook Page and was met with a link to an article called “Turnip or Rutabaga?” In spite of having Googled the question myself, this particular post mentioned that rutabagas are sometimes called “Waxed Turnips”. That answered my question. What I thought was a turnip was actually a rutabaga (also known as “Swedish Turnip”, “Swede”, “Yellow Turnip” and other terms.) Egads!
So I will now go back and change the name of the other recipe to “Rutabaga Hash Browns with Pulled Pork”. I’m sure the recipe will work just fine with a turnip. But the recipe post contains photos of rutabaga.
In the process of looking into this earth-shattering question I came across a website that has some great nutrition information: Self Nutrition Data. I went ahead and looked up some basic nutrition facts for three vegetables: white potatoes, turnips and rutabagas. Here’s what I found:
[table id=3 /]
*Glycemic load is a way of expressing a food or meal’s effect on blood-sugar levels. Experts vary on their recommendations for what your total glycemic load should be each day. A typical target for total Estimated Glycemic Load is 100 or less per day. If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you might want to aim a little lower. If you are not overweight and are physically active, a little higher is acceptable.
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2699/2#ixzz1itx4KWQJ
** The IF (Inflammation Factor) Rating™ estimates the inflammatory or anti-inflammatory potential of individual foods or combinations of foods by calculating the net effect of different nutritional factors, such as fatty acids, antioxidants, and glycemic impact. How to interpret the values: Foods with positive IF Ratings are considered anti-inflammatory, and those with negative IF Ratings are considered inflammatory. The higher the number, the stronger the effect. The goal is to balance negative foods with positive foods so that the combined rating for all foods eaten in a single day is positive.
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2610/2#ixzz1itllvdt4
It is not too surprising to learn that turnips and rutabagas are lower in calories and carbohydrates than white potatoes. But the information on the inflammatory impact was especially interesting. Basically, the white potato is a fairly inflammatory food. It is a member of the nightshade family of plants which can aggravate auto-immune diseases in some people. Turnips or rutabagas are much better choices than potatoes in terms of calories, carbs and inflammation impact.
Have you ever confused turnips and rutabagas? Please, let me know if I am not all alone in my produce aisle confusion.
You’ll have to excuse me now while I go fry up some RUTABAGA Hash Browns in pastured ghee!
Yup….confused and then some. Here in Australia we get Turnips and Swedes. Not sure which is Rutabaga, but suspect that it is Swede, or maybe Rutabage is something else again. Looking forward to getting this one cleared up.
Well Stella I am very happy to say that in my quest for info on this topic I found the answer to your question! Rutabaga is a mostly North American term and the word “Swede” is used in countries that speak more British English. It is short for “Swedish Turnip.” True turnips are more ancient whereas rutabagas (aka Swedes) are a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Looks like I should update my post yet again!
Thank you for sorting that out for me. We will be having hashed rutabagas for dinner. Thanks
I loved your post on the hash browns with the pork butt and I plan on making it this week. I also planned on using rutabaga instead of turnips because they are a little “sweeter” for me. It’s funny how that is what you made in the first place. I have roasted turnips and rutabaga side by side and have found them both delicious. I do think the rutabaga is a little sweeter tasting. I’m excited to visit my local Penzey’s Spices store to pick up the seasoning you suggested as well. I really enjoy your writings/recipes! Thank you for sharing!
I love the thought of hash browns too. Rutabagas can be blended with other raw vegetables in the raw for smoothies. Shoe stringed on a stove top grill or lightly oiled and seasoned, baked on parchment paper should be good too.
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My dad and I had this conversation just this past weekend. I’m fairly new to eating paleo but I love discovering all the new veggies! we also tried your chocolate chip cookies, delish!!!
Back East (Eastern Long Island ), they call rutebegas turnips. I thought I was eating turnips the whole time I was growing up, but they were rutebegas actually.(according to Ca.)
I’ve never eaten rutabaga, but have eaten turnips all my life. We grew them in the garden; we cooked the tops as well as the root.
I don’t know if you can eat the tops of rutabagas.
I used to make an oriental recipe for a fish and radish soup. The recipe called for Daikon radishes. When i couldn’t get daikon, I substituted turnip in the recipe.
could you tell me if the tops of rutabaga is good to eat?
Unfortunately, I actually don’t know the answer to your question. The rutabaga I get in the grocery store here is just the root with no tops so I’ve never had the opportunity to give them a try.