Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is closely related to turnips and cabbage. You must pay attention to its color to differentiate it from the turnip.
The color is usually yellow and brown. It is classified as a fall crop. Usually, you will find this plant in a cooler climate because it likes to be in such conditions.
People are curious to know if they can eat the rutabaga leaves. The root and the leaves of rutabaga are edible. People around the world enjoy eating rutabaga.
The flavor of the root is sweeter than the turnip, and the larger root remains tender. Meanwhile, the leaves have a mustard-like flavor that might be a hit or miss for some people. The leaves have a similar texture to collard green.
The Nutritional Value of Rutabaga Leaves
Now that you know whether you can eat rutabaga leaves, you need to know the nutritional values of the leaves. The leaves of this root plant are very nutrient-dense.
It is a very rich source of vitamin C, so if you are experiencing a deficiency in vitamin C, you can try to consume it. There is a certain amount of sugar in the leaves too.
There are also many minerals contained in the green leaves. Eating a portion of rutabaga leaves can provide magnesium, potassium, and calcium. The leaves are also high in fiber, which benefits your digestive system.
Benefits of Consuming Rutabaga Leaves
Seeing that rutabaga leaves are rich in nutrients, you can be assured that there are many health benefits you can get from consuming them. The health benefits include:
- Promoting digestive health
Rutabaga leaves contain insoluble fiber that is very advantageous for your digestive health. This fiber helps to feed the healthy bacteria present in your bowel path. Because of that, you will find your bowel health improved after consuming the leaves.
- Preventing early aging
Can you eat rutabaga leaves to prevent early aging? Some people believe that it is possible. The vitamin C content in rutabaga leaves is responsible for such a claim.
It boosts the production of collagen and minimizes the damage caused by UV ray exposure in our daily lives.
- Improving cardiovascular health
People also like that rutabaga leaves improve cardiovascular health. It is due to the potassium content in the leaves. Potassium regulates healthy blood pressure.
Cooking Method Recommended for Rutabaga Leaves
How should you cook rutabaga leaves? It depends on the age of the leaves that you are consuming. For the younger leaves, it is better if you eat them raw.
The texture is still relatively soft. Eating it raw will ensure you get the optimum nutrients from the leaves. It can be prepared as a salad.
Meanwhile, for the older leaves, you need to cook the leaves so eating would be more enjoyable. There are various cooking methods recommended for older rutabaga leaves.
Commonly, you will find the leaves being stewed or roasted. It can be a very delicious side dish when cooked.
Rutabaga Leaves Tacos Recipe
The ingredients that you need to prepare to cook the rutabaga leaves tacos are:
- A bunch of rutabaga greens
- A piece of rutabaga, peeled and sliced
- Eight pieces of corn tortilla
- A cup of watercress
- A white onion, sliced
- 3 ounces of queso fresco
- Five tablespoons of olive oil
- A tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Salt, to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste
First, you must saute the greens and rutabaga with olive oil. This sauteed vegetable must be seasoned with salt and red pepper to improve flavor.
Once finished, you can place the sauteed vegetables on the tortillas. You need to add toppings like queso and white onion. It is then served with hot sauce and lime juice.
This is a very light and healthy vegetarian menu for your family. The recipe yields eight pieces of tacos.
Marinated Rutabaga Greens Recipe
Can you eat rutabaga leaves prepared simply? This marinated green recipe is a perfect choice if you like such simplicity. The ingredients are:
- 6 cups of rutabaga leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup of shoyu
- ¼ cup of sundried tomato (packed in oil), sliced
- ¼ cup of kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup of red onions, sliced
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Two cloves of garlic, crushed
- Sea salt, to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
All you need to do is mix all the ingredients inside a large bowl. After that, you can marinate the greens for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the greens will be.
It is a great side dish option if you have a protein-heavy main course like meat or poultry. You will taste the richness of the greens.