Like their leafy green cousins, turnip greens contain an abundance of nutrients important to good health. Scientifically known as Brassica rapa, turnip greens are a cruciferous plant in the same family as other nutrient-dense vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. Cruciferous plant consumption is associated with lower risk of chronic illness such as heart disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disease.
TURNIP GREENS CONTAIN MANY NUTRIENTS
The entire turnip plant is rich in vitamins and minerals, but the greatest proportion of nutrients are found within the leaf blades. These nutrients include the antioxidant Vitamins A, C, E and K; B vitamins; calcium and folate. What really makes turnip greens a powerhouse for supporting good health are the antioxidants, which help the body fight inflammation and play a major role in cancer prevention, healthy aging, and a heart health.
One cup of turnip greens packs a whopping 600% of your daily requirement for Vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong and plays an important role preventing osteoporosis. The carotenes, including beta-carotene, found in turnip greens help support eye health and protect against eye disease such as macular degeneration.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING TURNIP GREENS
When selecting turnip greens, buy as fresh as possible and opt for organic if available. Look for deeply colored leaves that don’t show signs of wilting or damage, such as spotting. The greens are often sold while still attached to the large white root. You can roast the roots and use the greens for stir-fry or add to soups or stews.
TURNIP GREEN SOUP
Loaded with a natural peppery flavor, Turnip Green Soup is a Southern favorite and a hearty addition to your Fall menu. Perfect for lunch or a light supper, paired with a salad and jalapeno cornbread, or enjoy a smaller serving as a starter to a multi-course dinner.
- 1 lb chopped fresh turnip greens
- 16 ounces organic chicken broth (or more, as needed)
- 10 ounces stewed tomatoes
- 4 ounces roasted green chilis
- 16 ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 lb smoked sausage, diced*
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
- Pinch creole seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tabasco sauce
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
*Vegetarian Option: You can use large chunks of Portabello mushroom.
- Chop, slice, dice, or drain everything first.
- To a large pot, add the first seven ingredients over medium-low heat.
- In the meantime, saute the sausage, garlic, and onion in the oil until sausage is lightly browned and onion is desired tenderness. Add it to the turnip pot on stove. Add carrots and desired seasonings to taste.
- Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, adding more chicken broth if needed or desired.
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