The medicinal power of turnip greens

Turnip greens are also called leaf pulp. It is a vegetable that was eaten more often in the past than it is now; it has become a forgotten vegetable in the Netherlands. Turnip greens are related to mustard and broccoli. It is a type of cabbage that is eaten very young. You can eat the leaves including the stems. Turnip stem flowers are also edible. Turnip greens are usually cooked, but they make an excellent raw salad vegetable. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Flower of the brassica rapa / Source: Svdmolen, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-2.5)

Contents:

  • Turnip greens, a young type of cabbage
  • Nutritional value of turnip greens
  • Vitamin K is good for the bones
  • Fiber-rich turnip greens good for diabetics
  • Eating tips for turnip greens
  • Two recipes for turnip greens smoothies

 

Turnip greens, a young type of cabbage

Turnip greens are in fact a young type of cabbage; it is a form of leaf cabbage. The longer you let turnip greens grow, the more they start to look like broccoli. By the way, there are different types of turnip greens; some are based on the Brassica Rapa and others on the Brassica Sinensis . In the Netherlands mainly the Brassica Campestris is sold. Turnip greens are originally from the Mediterranean region. In Turkey, Greece, Portugal and Spain, turnip greens or rapini are considered a winter vegetable. In the Netherlands, turnip greens are eaten very young, but in other countries, such as the US, they are eaten as if they were young broccoli. Turnip greens are super healthy, just like broccoli. In the Netherlands, you don’t often find turnip greens in the large supermarket chains. It is a healthy vegetable that you can find on the market and at ecological stores.

Nutritional value of turnip greens

Turnip greens contain relatively large amounts of vitamins A, B, C and K. They also contain the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and even omega 3 fatty acids. It is one of the healthiest vegetables; like all types of cabbage. Cabbage is very healthy; they contain more vitamins and minerals than other vegetables. In addition, there is a large amount of phytonutrients in this delicious vegetable. An important phytoingredient is indole-3-carbonol (I3C).

Vitamin K is good for the bones

A scientific study among more than 72,000 nurses published in 1998 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who ate 109 mcg or more of vitamin K per day had a smaller risk of bone fractures. 100 grams of turnip greens contains 169 mcg of vitamin K.

Fiber-rich turnip greens good for diabetics

Vegetables such as turnip greens contain a lot of fiber. That is good news for everyone because fiber promotes digestion. It is extra good news for diabetes patients; fiber ensures that sugars are digested more slowly and gradually, resulting in fewer peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels.

Eating tips for turnip greens

Turnip greens can be consumed in many ways. You can shred them and add them to warm brown rice. You can mix them with other vegetables in a traditional Dutch stew. They are healthy alternative lettuce leaves for an original salad. They can also complement a mixed vegetable dish; just half a minute of stir-frying is sufficient. As with any vegetable that can be eaten raw, it is not necessary to prepare turnip greens for a long time.

Two recipes for turnip greens smoothies

A tip you may not have thought of yet is adding turnip greens to a smoothie. You can use turnip greens in a green vegetable smoothie. It is also a nice addition to a fruit smoothie. For example with this recipe

Turnip greens of the brassica rapa / Source: Roedelius, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

fruit smoothie with turnip greens:

  • A peeled banana,
  • Two peeled oranges,
  • A teaspoon of fresh ginger,
  • 50 grams fresh, uncooked turnip greens,
  • 300 ml of water, preferably purified water.

Another tropical smoothie recipe is a smoothie with coconut milk and turnip greens:

  • 100 grams fresh, diced pineapple,
  • 200 grams papaya cut into pieces,
  • A teaspoon of fresh ginger,
  • 50 grams fresh, uncooked turnip greens,
  • 300 ml coconut milk.

To make a smoothie, all you have to do is put the ingredients in a jar and start blending.

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