• Root vegetables.
  • Closely related to each other.
  • Large spherical tubers 10-20cm in diameter.

Turnips and swedes are cool climate vegetables. They are resistant to mild frosts and are grown from seed in moderately deep, well drained fertile soil. Seeds are sown in late summer to mature in autumn, or in autumn to mature in winter or spring. They have a relatively short growing period of 60-70 days for turnips and 100-120 days for swedes. Swedes and turnips are at their best when they have gone through a period of cold frosty weather.

Turnips have been grown since about 10,000BC. It was used for medicinal purposes as well as a food source. Today the turnip is valued for its distinctive flavour. Both the leafy stalks and the root can be eaten. The swede is a variety of turnip and is a relatively recent root vegetable, believed to have been developed in the 17th century.

Botanical Name: Brassica napus

Health Benefits

An excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fibre.

100g of Swede yields the following:

  • Calories – 38
  • Total Carbs – 3% of DV
  • Protein – 1.1g
  • Dietary Fibre – 9% of DV
  • Vitamin C – 42% of DV
  • Calcium – 4% of DV
  • Iron – 2% of DV

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Selecting tips

  • Select well rounded, smooth skinned turnips and swedes. Check stem end for deterioration or softness.
  • Wash and peel. Small turnips can be used whole, but large ones should be cut into chunks. Use in soups, stews or roasted. Use steamed and pureed for baby food as an introduction to solids.

Storage tips

  • Swedes are a durable vegetable, although they are best kept in the refrigerator and preferably not in plastic bags.

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