Rutabaga is a root plant that’s known by many different names. It’s a mixture between a cabbage and a turnip and it has some of the qualities of both of these. The roots are eaten in a variety of ways and the leafs are also useable but less frequently so.
They are also used to feed the livestock either directly or by being foraged in the fields used for grazing. In the UK they are also used for carving for Halloween.
- -They also known as Hanovers in some parts of the US
- It originated in the Middle Ages
- They are also called turnips in some parts of the world.
Rutabagas should feel heavy for their size and they should be firm to the touch. There should be no soft spots anywhere on the vegetable if its ripe. The top of the plant should also have some crevices. They are often coated in food grade wax to appear shiner in the store.
The ends of the plant at the top and bottom should be pink and that’s a good sing that rutabagas are good for the use.
Production & Farming in Texas
Rutabagas are grown in Texas, but it’s a cool weather plant so you need to make sure that you’re planting and harvesting at the right time. When it comes to other important features of your production process, you should treat them as if they are turnips.
The key to choosing the right location for this plant is to make sure that it has enough natural sunlight at all times. They should be planted in the late spring and again the early fall if you want to have two harvests a year. This makes Texas a perfect place to grow Rutabagas in.
The soil needs to be moist and fertile. That can be accomplished by using mulch and by adding water to mitigate the problems from hot Texas weather. It will take a week or two for the turnips to sprout.
The Rutabagas should be harvested based on their size. They take a longer time to grow than turnips and they should be harvested 35 to 45 days after the turnips of the same size. This also means that they grow better in spring than in a fall since they have more time available then.
It’s best to buy rutabagas organic since that’s the best way to be sure that the pesticides used for turnips aren’t used here as well.
It’s believed that this plant originated in what’s todays Czech Republic in the 17th century. That was done by mixing turnips and cabbage. They were grown for both human and animal consumption. They were moved from Bohemia to the rest of the Europe and to the US.
Now they are grown everywhere where the weather will allow it. At the same time, they are also used to feed the cattle now when there’s more concern about how grazing is done in terms of damaging the environment.
There’s no need to take particular care of the packaging for a rutabaga because they have a thick skin and they are easily moved without worrying about damaging. They can be packed into open cardboard boxes or in sacks.
The plants should be placed in a dark room and one that’s not too hot. Some of them keep the green leafs and they are sometimes kept fresh by sprinkling some water on them, but there are stores that remove them altogether.
There are many ways to eat rutabagas and the they range from more to less complicated, so there’s no need to be a chef in order to enjoy them. The simplest way to do it is to boil and mash them like you would potatoes. You can also add butter and some other herbs to mx things up.
They could also be used to make gratin, again by replacing the potato with a rutabaga in a recipe. This is a common theme in preparing this vegetable since they can also be used to make fries. They are not similar to potatoes in taste but in terms of how they can be prepared.
Rutabagas can be stored for quite a long time. They can spend weeks if not months in a dark place that’s also dry and kept at a bit lower temperature than the rest of the home. All of this is to say is that rutabagas could be stored in pantries and without having to clean or peel them.
Here’s a simple recipe for a roasted rutabaga that latterly anyone can make:
Toss 1 large peeled and cubed rutabaga with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees F until golden and soft, 40 minutes. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and chopped parsley.
As you can see, rutabagas are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins E and C. They also contain a moderate amount of folate, a B vitamin that’s important for metabolism, protein synthesis, and DNA replication.
Furthermore, rutabagas provide small amounts of phosphorus and selenium. Phosphorus is an important mineral for energy production and bone health, while selenium is essential for reproductive health
Rutabagas are an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which are harmful compounds that damage cells and lead to oxidative stress when levels become too high in your body. Vitamin C also plays key roles in immune health, iron absorption, and collagen synthesis
When Are Rutabagas in Season in Texas?
To find out when Rutabagas are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.