Which Part of the Turnip Do We Eat? (ANSWERED)

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Which part of the turnip do we eat?

Have you heard how nutritious and versatile turnips are? Maybe you have been tempted to try them for yourself. The only thing is, most of the pontiffs fail to mention one thing when talking about turnip’s health benefits; which part of the turnip do we eat?

If you have asked this question, we are here to help. In this guide, we will look at:

  • Which part of the turnip is edible.
  • Why you should eat turnip roots.
  • What part of the turnip can be eaten raw.
  • How to prepare turnips.
  • Can you eat turnip greens daily?
  • Are turnips safe for people with diabetes? 

Let’s dive right in.

So, which part of the turnip do we eat?

turnip tops

Turnips are a zero-waste food. Virtually the entire plant can be eaten. Most people will remove the stringy roots at the bottom of the bulb and the quarter-sized spot where the greens and turnip come together. This is just for the sake of appearance. 

The turnip bulb can be consumed raw or cooked in many ways, from a simple sautee to delicious soups. They can even be used as a less starchy, more flavorful substitute for potatoes.

Turnip tops, aka greens, are often served wilted like kale with seasonings and olive oil or boiled in the manner of mustard greens. They can, however, also be used raw in salads to add a little extra bite.  

Why do we eat the root of the turnip?

turnip root

The number one reason people eat turnip roots is that they are delicious. Turnip roots have a light crispy texture when they are young and a flavor slightly stronger than cabbage but not as intense as radishes. 

Turnips work well grated into salads, made into soups or sliced thin, and served lightly salted with spiced vinegar as a snack food. You can even make turnip fries as a healthy alternative with burgers. 

The second reason we eat turnips is they are very healthy. Turnips contain high levels of vitamins A, K, and C. They are loaded with fiber, folate, phosphorus, and calcium. Even better, they supply all of this nutrition while only having 36 calories and 8 grams of carbs per cup. 

Which part of the turnip can be eaten without cooking?

raw turnip salad

The entire turnip plant from the top of the leaves to the tip of the root can be eaten raw. In fact, the healthiest way to consume any part of the turnip plant is uncooked.

Raw turnip root has a taste that falls between cabbage and radish, and uncooked turnip greens are very similar to mustard greens in flavor but are a little milder in nature. 

How do you prepare turnips to eat?

baked turnip

Turnips can be prepared in many ways. Some are the most popular would include:

  • Cubed in stews
  • Fried 
  • Mashed or creamed
  • Pureed in soups
  • Raw
  • Steamed 

A good rule of thumb is if you can do it to a potato, a turnip will make it that much better.

Can you eat turnip greens every day?

You can eat turnip greens every day with specific cautions. 

If you take: 

  • Coumadin
  • Warfarin
  • Sildenafil Citrate 
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Similar drugs

You should consult a physician before eating substantial amounts of turnip greens. Some of the same compounds that make turnip greens so healthy can interfere with the effectiveness of these medications.  

Can people with diabetes eat turnips?

turnip greens soup

Yes, people with diabetes can eat turnips. Turnip greens may be one of the healthiest things diabetics can eat

Turnips and especially their greens are high in fiber which helps to regulate blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, they are high in an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid.

Alpha-lipoic acid has been found to: 

  • Lower glucose levels
  • Increase insulin sensitivity and 
  • Prevent oxidative stress
  • Decrease peripheral neuropathy