Turnip vs Radish – What’s the Difference? (ANSWERED)

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turnip vs radish

Have you asked yourself What’s the difference between turnips and radishes? If you have, then prepare to be enlightened. In this guide, we will look at:

  • What’s the difference between a turnip and a radish?
  • How radishes and turnips compare nutritionally.
  • Do turnips taste like radishes?
  • Can turnips replace radishes?
  • Do deer like radishes or turnips?
  • Are turnips the same as white radishes?

What’s the difference between turnips and radishes?

turnip and radish

Turnips and radishes seem comparable at first glance, and they do have a few things in common. Both turnip and radish are root plants, have a similar shape, and when bitten into, their textures are much alike. However, beyond these superficial characteristics, they are very different vegetables.

To begin with, they come from different families. Turnips are part of the Brassica Genus, while radishes belong to the Genus Raphanus. 

Radishes are much smaller than turnips and have very dark crimson to purple skin. The skin of a turnip is mainly tan to white, though some varieties have a reddish cast at the top.

Do turnips taste like radishes?

turnip vs radish taste

When you bite into a radish, your taste buds will be greeted by a sweet, crisp taste, almost like a piece of orchard fruit. The difference being radishes lack the juicy element of fruits and have heavy spice overtones. 

Turnips have a flavor that is more reminiscent of cabbage or, more specifically, cabbage heart. There is that little bit of spice and sweetness. At least in younger turnips. Older turnips tend to turn bitter and have a starchier texture. 

Which is healthier, radish or turnip?

radish antioxidants

You can’t say either turnips or radishes are healthier. Both offer many health benefits, including helping to prevent cancer and promoting healthy skin and eyes. 

Turnips are rich in calcium, vitamins A, E, C, B3, B5, and B6. They are known to improve digestion, heart health, and aid in fighting osteoporosis. 

Radishes are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and calcium. They are considered potent immunity boosters.  

Nutrition Table

Per 100g Cooked Turnip Cooked Radish
Calories 22 (1% DV) 48 (2% DV)
Fat 0.1g 0.7g
Carbohydrates 5.1g 48g
Protein 0.7g 1.2g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Fiber 2g 3.3g
Sugar 3g 8g
Iron 0.2mg 0.4mg
Vitamin A 0μg 0μg
Vitamin C 11.6mg 24.9mg
Vitamin B1 0 0
Vitamin B2 0 0
Vitamin B5 0.3mg 1.5mg
Vitamin B12 0 0
Biotin 0 0
Folate 9μg 57μg
Vitamin E 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin K 0.1μg 1.3μg
Vitamin K1 0 0

Can turnip replace radish?

turnips sweeter

Turnips can replace radishes in recipes as long as you keep their flavor differences in mind. Turnips tend to be a little sweeter overall and a little less spicy. Turnips also tend to develop a bitter flavor if stored too long or allowed to grow past their ideal harvest point. 

Do deer like turnips or radishes?

Deer will devour both turnip greens and radish tops. Which they prefer depends on the particular type of deer you are discussing. Whitetail deer prefer radish tops and will only turn to turnip greens after they have eaten all the radish tops. 

Mule deer and blacktail deer are the exact opposite. Both species will shun radish tops if there are turnip greens available.

As for the bulbs themselves, both seem to be universally enjoyed. They will turn to these roots, though, only after all of the fresh greens have been eaten and the deer’s warm weather food sources have expired. 

Is turnip the same as white radish?

daikon white radish

A turnip is not a white radish. White radish, also known as Daikon, winter radish, Japanese radishes, and Chinese radish, is a group of Asian radish varieties that tend to be milder in flavor and less peppery than red and purple radishes. However, Daikon are in no way related to turnips.