Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

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Rooting for rutabaga

This is a tough time of year to write about local seasonally available foods. Rutabaga is one of those foods that last well through the winter and you can usually find local rutabagas available year-round.

Rutabagas are similar to turnips but tend to be larger and their flesh is more yellow. It may actually be a turnip-cabbage hybrid. Most of the rutabagas available in the grocery store are waxed and will keep well in a cool dark place, or the refrigerator, for up to 3 months. Obviously, you’ll need to peel a waxed rutabaga before cooking and eating.

One cup of raw rutabaga has only 53 calories. It’s also got 3.6 g fibre, 70 mg calcium, 499 mg potassium, 34 mg magnesium, and 37 mg vitamin C.

One of my favourite rutabaga recipes (it calls for turnip, but don’t be fooled, rutabaga is what you want) is rutabaga and pancetta hash. It’s a great side dish. Rutabaga also roasts nicely and works well in stews.