The rutabaga is often confused with turnip, so the confusion needs to be cleared. The rutabaga is a crossbreed between a turnip and a cabbage.
It is also a root just like a turnip, and its leaves are also edible. It is often also called the Swedish Turnip, table turnip, mangelwurzel, Macomber and also turnip-rooted cabbage.
It is a crop grown during the cool season and needs a long – time duration to mature. Since their growth, they have been known to be nutritious, high yielding and also easy to grow vegetables.
The rutabaga fairly young and a unique vegetable just like its name. This plant is also famous for its golden flesh.
Types of Rutabaga
The various types of rutabaga known are:
1) American Purple Top
The American Purple Top rutabaga has a purplish shade on its top that is its crown region while the rest of the rutabaga is yellow. This is the most common type of rutabaga. Its attractive appearance makes this variety the most well known and popular type of rutabaga.
This rutabaga was earlier also called the Purple top yellow, due to its beautiful color. This rutabaga is generally crisp and finely textured, and its flesh has a mild flavor to it.
This is a Canadian native. Its taste is often described as creamy. The rutabaga is elongated in shape which is distinguishingly different from the round rutabaga types.
It is very similar to the American purple top the only difference being the territory of production, which in this case is Canada. The root of this rutabaga is crème colored and has a red top. This type can be cultivated in about a 100 days.
3) Nadmorska Rutabaga
This rutabaga is a native of Lithuania. It is as creamy as the Laurentian rutabaga and the attractive looks of the American Purple Top rutabaga.
4) Sweet Russian Rutabaga
The sweet Russian rutabaga is resistant to even frosty cold climatic conditions. The name of the rutabaga itself speaks about its sweet and delicious taste for which this Russian vegetable is known for.
6) Long Island Improved Rutabaga
The long island rutabaga has a large and fleshy bulb with a small taproot.
5) Navone Yellow Rutabaga
The Navone yellow rutabaga is a delicious treat for winters. It is a large variety in comparison to others and has deep goldish yellow roots. The roots themselves taste rich and sweet. When raw this rutabaga has a pepper-like taste.
7) Joan Rutabaga
This variety of rutabaga that is Joan is known to be disease resistant. The Joan rutabaga has uniform round roots and purple tops. Its flavor enhances as it matures. It is mild and sweet when young while gets deeper and richer with time. This rutabaga can be cultivated in about 120 days.
8) Champion Purple Top Rutabaga
The crown here is purple too, but the roots are large and smooth with ivory color to them. It has yellow flesh. The flesh of the champion purple top rutabaga is fine textured, mild, sweet and delectable indeed.
9) Helenor Rutabaga
The Helenor rutabaga is planted majorly more as it has a good yield.
10) Ruta bits Rutabaga
This is a small looking type of rutabaga. It has really thin skin. The thin skin of this vegetable makes it easy to consume it without peeling.
There are a few other types which are classified under:
Heirloom and Gourmet Rutabagas
- Champion A Collet Rouge: It has a distinct taste and a purplish red top featured over a yellowish bottom. Its flavors include a hint of delicate sweetness.
- Collet Vert: The collet vert produces a green top over the yellow bottom. It is always preferred for gourmet cooking due to its attractive looks and appealing flavors.
Health Benefits of Rutabaga
Though a rare find, rutabagas are full of health and wellness. They have immense benefits to offer to the mankind. It is said that good things are hard to find, and so are the rutabagas.
Some of their health benefits are:
1) Blood pressure whether low or high can be extremely harmful to our bodies. The potassium present in the rutabaga helps to control our blood pressure by reducing the contraction of our vessels by relaxing their muscles.
3) The high fiber content of the rutabagas helps in digestion of food, and further, it acts as a laxative preventing both constipation and diarrhea.
4) Rutabagas are known to be effective in avoiding the formation and rise of ulcers and inflammation in the gastrointestinal cavities.
5) Rutabaga has high Vitamin C content. It has such a high content of Vitamin C that only 100 grams of rutabaga can satiate almost 80% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. The use of Vitamin C in your body is to improve immunity system and prevent you against most of the harmful diseases.
6) Cancer usually initiates with the movement of free radicals in our body. Rutabaga has high antioxidant content which helps in curbing these free radicals.
7) It helps in covering the potassium deficiency which is being faced by major global population.
8) Antioxidants in the rutabaga not only prevent chronic illnesses but are also known to slow down the process of aging. Rutabaga with its nutritional composition is a miracle for our skin.
9) Rutabaga helps in the formation of new cells, ensures that your body can extract all proteins, fats, amino acids and other nutrients from the food that you consume.
10) This vegetable helps in the healthy development of our body and growth of our brain and even assists reproduction due to the presence of amino acids in it.
11) Rutabagas have a combination of zinc and magnesium, proteins, fatty acids and amino acids. This combination helps in preventing our body from inflammations, age-related osteoporosis, and assists in maintaining healthy bones.
As rare as the name sounds are the qualities of this hard to find a vegetable. But, if you can get your hands on one then do try and enjoy its taste and at the same time let your body bask in its ample benefits. Just for fact sharing rutabaga the name itself is of Swedish origin.