Turnip Facts

Turnip Facts
Turnip is a type of root vegetables that belongs to the mustard family. It originates from Europe. Turnip was created through the process of selective breeding of wild turnip. There are 30 domesticated varieties of turnip that can be found around the world today. Turnip grows in areas with cold climate, on fertile, well-drained soil, exposed to direct sunlight. People cultivate turnip as a source of food.
Interesting Turnip Facts:
Turnip produces leafy stem and 8 to 12 small, light green leaves that grow around it. Main stem can reach 12 to 14 inches in height.
Turnip produces roundish root with thin taproot on its end. Root is covered with white or green skin which usually changes the color into purple on the parts of root exposed to the sun. Turnip has yellow or white-colored flesh.
Turnip develops yellow flowers arranged in the form of raceme inflorescence on top of the flowering stalk. They attract bees, main pollinators of this plant. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs and they are able to perform self-pollination in the case that natural pollinators are not available.
Fruit of turnip is seedpod filled with numerous miniature seed.
Turnip can be planted during the spring, summer or fall, depending on the climate. Plant is ready for the harvest usually 45 to 60 days after sowing.
Turnip is ready for the harvest when root reaches 2 to 3 inches in diameters and 2 to 8 ounces of weight. Over-matured root is woody and unpalatable.
Turnip is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins C and potassium. Leafy part of the plant contains more nutrients compared to the root. Leaves are rich source of vitamins B6, E, K, A and C and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron and manganese. 100g of fresh root contain only 28 calories.
Turnip has sweet, peppery, radish-like taste. Young roots have milder taste and crunchy, juicy texture. Turnip can be used for the preparation of soups, casseroles and dishes made of meat. Young root can be consumed fresh, in the form of salads.
Leaves taste like mustard greens. They can be cooked and consumed like spinach or used fresh in salads.
Large varieties of turnip are cultivated as a source of food for the cattle.
Turnip was cultivated as a source of edible oil (obtained from the seed) in the past.
Turnip was staple food in the Ancient Greece and Rome.
Turnip was massively consumed in Germany during the WWI when meat and potato became scarce. Flour made of turnip was used for the preparation of bread. Winter period of 1916-1917 became known as "turnip winter".
Substances isolated from turnip can prevent development of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular and ocular disorders.
Turnip is biennial plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in two years.

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