To Your Health | Try a new twist on roasted vegetables with turnips

To Your Health | Try a new twist on roasted vegetables with turnips

If you are looking for a way to prepare vegetables that enhances their natural flavor, roasting is a winning strategy.

Vegetables brown and caramelize while roasting, giving them a crispy texture on the outside and a sweeter flavor. A great vegetable for roasting that can be often overlooked is the turnip.

A few tips for roasting success: Cut the veggies into equal sizes and make sure that each piece of has oil coating it.

In addition, do not skip turning vegetables mid-way through cooking, either: This helps ensure equal cooking and browning throughout.

If turnips come with greens attached, those are edible, too! Enjoy them as you would any other greens, such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard.

Turnips can come in a variety of colors at the store or market. Look for turnips that have no cuts, bruises or soft areas. Smaller turnips tend to taste sweeter. Turnip greens should be fresh and green; avoid greens that are wilted or mushy.

Store turnips in the refrigerator for two to three days in a plastic bag.

Wash and scrub them with a vegetable brush or clean washcloth under cold running water. Remove tough skin with a peeler.

Turnips are similar in flavor to potatoes but lower in starch or carbohydrates, and are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

This side dish highlights this tasty root vegetable with added flavor from roasting and added seasonings. In Illinois, turnips typically are in-season from June through October.


Servings: 6 (1/2 cup each).

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano, dried

1 teaspoon rosemary, dried

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups turnips, diced

Heat oven to 400 F.

Mix oil, broth, oregano, rosemary and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Toss with diced turnips and minced garlic.

Spray a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread coated turnips onto surface.

Bake for 50 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking time.

Find more recipes from University of Illinois Extension at "EAT.MOVE.SAVE.: Making Healthier Choices on a Budget," at

Beth Peralta is a registered dietitian and media communications specialist for University of Illinois Extension, and a spokeswoman for the Illinois Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Contact her at 217-244-7405 or