May turnips • Healthy effect, preparation & recipe

Whether raw or cooked, turnips can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. With their radish-like taste, they give dishes a fresh touch. But the leaf green can also be processed. Find out more about the origin, ingredients and preparation of turnips.

In the Middle Ages, turnips were one of the most important staple foods until they were supplanted by potatoes. In recent years, however, root vegetables have regained importance as regional and seasonal vegetables. Turnips can not only enrich dishes with their strong, spicy aroma, they are also real vitamin bombs. And: You can eat everything from the leaves to the tuber.

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Origin and season of turnips

Turnips go by a variety of names. They are also called Mairübe, Navette (French for turnip), Gatower Kugel or Weissrübe. The botanical name is Brassica rapa subsp. rapa was. majalis. They are closely related to the Teltower Rübchen and belong to the cruciferous family.

Turnips originally come from India, but have been cultivated in Germany since the Middle Ages. However, from the 19th century, beets were replaced as a staple food by potatoes and have been somewhat forgotten. In recent years, however, the focus has been on the old vegetable variety again.

The biennial plants thrive especially in loamy and sandy soil. In the first year they form a tuber in the ground and a leaf rosette above ground, in the second year they flower. They can be sown in either spring or late summer for fall harvest. It takes about six to eight weeks from sowing to harvest.

Ingredients: What makes turnips so healthy

Turnips have a high water content and are low in calories. 100 grams deliver about 24 kilograms (kcal). They are also rich in fiber and keep you full for a long time. In addition, they contain a lot of protein, vitamins and nutrients. For example, the vegetable is rich in:

The secondary plant substances they contain, the glucosinolates, which, according to studies, could be useful for preventing cancer, make the turnips particularly healthy. If the compounds split, mustard oils are formed. These are not only responsible for the characteristic aroma of turnips, but also have an antibacterial effect.

Tips for purchasing and storing turnips

The small, white or white-purple turnips are available from May through autumn from local cultivation, for example at weekly markets. As imported goods, however, they can also be bought in supermarkets outside of this period.

They can be eaten raw or cooked and are suitable, for example, grated small for a salad or cooked as a side dish. The tubers have a similar taste to radishes or radishes, but are a bit milder. The green leaves (mustard) can also be used raw or prepared like spinach.

Freshness test for turnips

The smaller the turnips are, the more tender and crunchy they are. A diameter of four to six centimeters is best. Fresh turnips can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • The leaves are dark green and juicy.
  • The turnips look white and plump.
  • The bulbs should not be easy to indent with your fingers.

Storage of turnips

Fresh turnips can be stored in the refrigerator for about three to four days. If they are stored longer, they can lose their taste and vitamin content. If you want to keep the root vegetables longer, you can chop them up, blanch them in salted water for about two minutes and then freeze them. Then they have a shelf life of about ten months.

Preparation of turnips

Turnips can be used in many ways in the kitchen – they taste great in casseroles, stews, as a soup or as a raw vegetable in a salad. And the preparation is also very simple:

  • First, the leaves are removed, but saved. They can be eaten raw independently of the tubers, as well as steamed or used as a decoration.
  • The beets should be peeled before consumption.
  • They can then be cut into slices or sticks and eaten raw, fried or steamed.

If you want to cook the tubers, put them in boiling salted water or vegetable stock for about 15 minutes. As a puree, turnips go well with meat dishes, for example.

Recipe: May turnip salad with rocket and tomatoes

Ingredients for four people:

  • 450 g Mairübchen
  • 50 g arugula
  • ½ Saladgurke
  • 150 g snack tomatoes
  • 150 g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pfeffer
  • Zucker

How to prepare the turnip salad:

  1. Remove the leaves from the turnips, wash and peel, then cut into thin wedges.
  2. Wash the turnip leaves, arugula, tomatoes and cucumbers. Peel and slice the cucumber. Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
  3. Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix natural yoghurt, cream, lemon juice, vinegar and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy the fresh salad.
Freezing food: which ones can be frozen and for how long?

Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by

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