Fall weather brings root vegetables to the front of the line, and the center of the plate. I’m always thrilled to find turnips in my weekly CSA box. These are a special treat because both the greens and the root are edible (and delicious!), and with the right treatment these nourishing goodies are super tasty. Enter the paleo turnip smash!
Turnips are also extremely nourishing for many serious conditions.
- Cancer prevention: The turnip’s many potent antioxidants have been shown to fight the effects of carcinogens and slow the growth of tumors.
- Heart health/Cardiovascular disease and inflammation: Turnips contain potent anti-inflammatory agents that reduce systemic inflammation in the body, a major contributor of CVD and numerous other serious health conditions, from autoimmune disease to cancer.
- Digestive distress: The turnip’s antioxidants may help the body to battle unhealthy bacteria in the gut, such as H. Pylori, which helps healthy bacteria to flourish. For more on the importance of gut health, see HERE.
- Liver detox: The turnip’s antioxidants have also been shown to help support the liver as it processes toxins, which helps not only process toxins and metabolic byproducts out of the system, it also encourages proper metabolism of fat.
- Osteoperois: Vitamin K and calcium are essential to building and maintain strong bones and teeth.
- Illness prevention: Turnips are also antibiotic, antiviral, and antiparasitic.
For those who have thyroid issues, because turnips are technically a brassica vegetable (like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower) they contain goitrogenic properties that may inhibit thyroid function. If this is an issue, turnips may not be a good choice for you. Know your body!
If you haven’t ventured into the land of the turnip, give it a try!
Paleo turnip smash recipe:
- 2lb turnips (about 5 medium sized bulbs with greens attached)
- ½ white or yellow onion
- 4 TB grassfed better or ghee*
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp each Salt, pepper, garlic powder (plus additional to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425
- Peel turnips and cut into 2-inch-sized pieces
- Dice onion
- Melt 2 TB ghee and toss veggies in a bowl with ghee, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Roast the turnip mix for 25 minutes, until nicely browned and fork tender. (Warning, don’t try to roast these the entire time with garlic. I’ve made that mistake before and the garlic burns far too easily at high roasting temperatures. If you’re a major garlic fan, try adding them into the mix about halfway through, and check on them frequently to make sure they aren’t burning. Burnt garlic is a seriously overpowering flavor that isn’t welcomed at most dinner tables! )
You could stop here and serve these as chunky turnip hash, or you can turn it up a notch and make these into a creamy dreamy mash (goes GREAT with a roast or pork chops).
- Place the roasted mash into a food processor with chicken broth and 2 TB ghee and blend until creamy. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THOSE GLORIOUS GREENS!!!
Wilted Turnip Greens with Bacon
- 1 large bunch turnip greens (or greens from 4-5 turnips)
- 2-3 slices bacon
- ½ white or yellow onion
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Salt and pepper plus extra to taste
- Chop bacon into small pieces and throw into large pan over medium heat.
- Dice onion and mince garlic, add to pan to cook down with bacon. Cook until bacon begins to crisp.
- Add greens, sage, salt and pepper and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until greens are wilted and tender. Serve immediately and enjoy!
*Not sure what ghee is? See HERE to learn more.
I served these both with thick cut pastured pork loin chops. What’s your favorite meal to pair with turnips? Do you have a favorite preparation method? Shout it out and spread the love!