Remember the vegetable game? The one where you sit in a circle and everyone picks out a vegetable and you go around saying each other’s vegetable names with one catch – you can’t show your teeth, giggle, smile, or laugh. When it comes time to choose your vegetable name, it’s no wonder someone always chooses rutabaga. Try it now – try to say rutabaga with your lips covering your teeth the whole time. Still makes me laugh.
Up until last weekend, I don’t think I’d ever eaten a rutabaga. If I’m being honest, I’ve seen them sitting there in the basket at Whole Foods with the other root veggies like beets and turnips, but I’ve been happy to pass them by. But last weekend, my family went to a hunting and fishing lodge nearby, and mashed rutabaga with Brussels sprouts was served with fish. I just had to try, as I’m always up for a food adventure…well, a vegetable adventure. Rob started laughing immediately because he knew we would be having mashed rutabaga at our table some time during the week.
Well, he’s right. On Monday, I picked up my first rutabagas. Ugly little guys, but the purple tinge at the top is kinda pretty. So I steamed them and “mashed” them in my Vitamix with a little coconut oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, as that was the spice I detected in my Rough Creek Lodge meal. And…ew!!! They were SOOOOO bitter. Everyone in my family tried them, and we agreed – we did not like my mashed rutabaga. But, I’m not one to give up. I researched a little and turns out you are supposed to peel them before steaming them, and choose smaller ones to avoid bitterness. So back to Whole Foods I go to pick up more rutabagas.
Second batch: roasted em with no skin to allow em to caramelize, bought small rutabagas. Hmmmmm…much much better. I added vanilla extract, but I’m still not satisfied. So back to Whole Foods I go to pick up some more rutabagas.
Third batch: roasted em with no skin, bought cute little small ones, added vanilla extract, and ½ of a roasted butternut squash. And…fantastic!!
So if you are like me and have never been introduced to the rutabaga other than during a round of the vegetable game, give them a try! They’re rather healthy too, of course! Rutabagas contain more than half the daily recommended amount of vitamin C – a good thing this time of year. Plus, they’re super high in fiber, so they promote gut and heart health as well as a full tummy and weight loss. Rutabagas provide a few trace minerals too – calcium, quite a bit of potassium, magnesium, and a little manganese. They are a member of the cruciferous family, so they contain compounds that are good for detoxing and cancer protection. Quite nutritious and delicious!
Recipe type: vegetable, side dish
Serves: 4 – 6
3 small rutabagas, peeled
½ butternut squash, seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup unrefined coconut oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush a little olive oil on them, and then roast the rutabagas and butternut squash for 1 hour.
Scoop out the squash from the peel and put in a Vitamix or food processor.
Add the rutabagas, coconut oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and vanilla.