Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Move Over Kale
Turnip Greens Are A Nutrient Powerhouse!
Easy Instant Pot Recipe

I'll share a secret ingredient that cuts the bitterness!

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Just a Few Seeds
After I planted one of my raised beds, I had some room between rows of bell peppers and eggplants. Since they tend to grow straight up and not spread out too much, I thought I'd throw a couple of turnip seeds here and there. I noticed that the top of the greens were growing nicely and weren't getting burned like chard usually does or attacked by aphids like my kale. Before I knew it, the turnips were ready to harvest and the greens were enormous. I was really surprised because the last time I planted turnips, I didn't have this kind of success.

Do Not Fear the Bitter Greens
I rarely go buy turnip greens because I love kale and always have tons of kale growing year-round in my garden. Also, turnip greens can sometimes be a bit too bitter. But with just a little balsamic vinegar, you can cut the bitterness of these nutritious greens and enjoy their wonderful and unique flavor. 

A touch of balsamic vinegar cuts the bitterness.

Move Over Kale
As far as nutrition goes, turnip greens can stand up to kale, the gold standard of nutrition. And in many areas, they outperform kale. Let's compare:

Turnip greens and kale are both low in calories, 29 calories vs. 36 calories per boiled cup and both have .5 grams or less of fat.

They are both very good sources vitamin A, C, K and B6 but turnip greens also provide 42% of the daily requirement of folic acid, 10 times the amount you get from kale.

In the mineral category, turnip greens and kale are both very good sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. However, turnip greens have more than twice the calcium as kale providing 197 mg per cooked cup vs. 94 mg from kale. 

Turnip greens also have more than twice the vitamin E as kale, with turnip greens providing 14% of the daily requirement in one cooked cup. 

When selecting any nutritious food, I look to see its fiber content. Both greens have a very high fiber per calorie content but turnip greens have twice the fiber as kale with a whopping 5 grams per cooked cup versus 2.6 grams in a cooked cup of kale. 

Although kale has more protein than turnip greens, (2.5 g per cooked cup versus 1.6 g), turnip greens have higher protein quality. In fact, they contain all the essential amino acids and are a complete protein

I'll always love kale and I find it more versatile (I'm not inclined to throw turnip greens in my smoothie yet) but after looking deeper into the relative nutrition, I will seek out my bitter friend more often.

What About the Turnips
Today I'm cooking the greens with you but I am making a big pot of Zucchini and Turnip Soup with the turnips.

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Instant Pot Turnip Greens with Garlic and Onions
Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

Requires Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. 

1 1/2 pound turnip greens
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup veggie broth
Salt and black pepper to taste

Prepare the greens by washing and removing the stems.

Roll the leaves and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside.

Set the Instant Pot on sauté. After it heats, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion softens, several minutes. 

Stir in a large handful of greens. As they quickly wilt, stir in another handful. 

Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Turn the Instant Pot off. Secure the lid making sure that the top vent of the pot is closed and hit the "manual" button. Set the pressure cooker time for 3 minutes at high pressure. 

When complete, hit the "off" button and do a quick release of the pressure. Open the lid carefully. Stir the greens and onions, adjust salt and pepper if needed, and serve immediately.

Per serving: 60 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 101 mg omega-3 and 119 omega-6 fatty acids, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 47 mg sodium (not including added salt and sodium from veggie broth).



zumbawithdiane said...

Thank you. I can't wait to see if I can get turnip greens at the Farmer's Market this weekend and try this. Love your super healthy and delicious recipes.

Marcia said...

I don't think turnip greens will ever usurp kale for my love! I do eat them, when we get them from the CSA.