It’s February! What’s in Season?

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Pictures of apples, bok choy, carrots, other vegetables in season in February 10 % Campaign

Rutabagas    When you pass by the rutabagas at the farmers market, a produce stand or even in the grocery store they don’t exactly stand out as that one thing you just have to have. These giant, round, purplish white roots with yellow flesh just don’t have that curb appeal or familiarity that other root vegetables have. Their purple color causes some to confuse them with the Turnip (which has white flesh). If you taste one raw you will get hints of turnips and cabbage. Anywhere you can use a potato you can use this winter root vegetable but unlike the potato, the rutabaga has more to offer nutritionally. Rutabagas have half the carbohydrates, half the calories and four times the fiber of potatoes. They also have higher amounts of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins.

For more information on healthy food choices and getting in those 3- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day check out MyPlate  or you can always call 828-456-3575 or email me, at Haywood Cooperative Extension.

The biggest challenge in preparing rutabagas is peeling them. The hard waxy peeling is easiest to remove if you cut the root vegetable into sections that will lay flat, then you can peel top to bottom safely. As I mentioned before, rutabagas can be used in any recipe you would use potatoes in. My favorite way to cook any root vegetable is to roast it on high heat. Give them a try for the health of it!

Roasted Rutabagas

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut 1, 4 inch peeled rutabaga into 1 inch cubes.
  3.  Toss in 1 Tbs. of olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, a pinch of chili pepper, some fresh rosemary if you have it.
  5. Roast on a foil covered sheet pan at 400° F until caramelized and tender. 
  6. Enjoy!