What Do Turnips Taste Like?

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It is common knowledge that turnips have never been considered among the most trendy veggies. Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that supermarket shops often steer customers away from purchasing this out-of-style plant. Is this view accurate, or are we passing judgment too severely on an excellent vegetable despite the fact that it is seen as difficult and peculiar, to say the least?

After all, it’s a crop that’s high in nutrients and grows rather quickly, and it plays a significant role in the cooking traditions of Nordic countries, often taking the place of potatoes. Before pumpkins were popular for use as Halloween lanterns in the United Kingdom, turnips were customarily carved and used instead.

In this tutorial, we will dig into the ins and outs of these delectable and nutritious root vegetables, including the answer to the question that is worth a million dollars: “what do turnips taste like?”

What Are Turnips?

It is necessary that we comprehend what they are before we proceed to investigate their taste. The cauliflower and cabbage families are related to the turnip family, which produces turnips, which are easy to cultivate root crops. They are sometimes confused with their relatives the rutabagas due to the remarkable similarity between the two. Turnips typically mature around four weeks sooner than parsnips, despite the fact that both crops are routinely cultivated together.

Turnips are often regarded as the best crop for a wide variety of gardeners. Although they are hardy biennials, turnips are often grown as annuals since they are a vegetable that germinates quickly in the fall and does well in chilly climates.

Within a month after their germination, you’ll be able to devour the vibrantly colored leaves that are full of nutrients, despite the fact that their development may be slowed down when the warm weather arrives. After a few weeks, the turnip root will have expanded to the point where it is ready to be harvested. Because both the leaves and the roots may be consumed, this plant is considered a “zero-waste” crop.

The versatility of turnips lies in their little and big variations, since they may be used in a wide variety of cuisines. Because of this, the majority of people choose to use them as a nutrient-dense and lower-carb option for potatoes. Raw forms of these plants may also be ingested since their young roots are soft and easily removed before being cooked or eaten raw.

History of Turnips

It is possible that they were one of the earliest vegetables to be produced and that they originated in central Asia approximately 4,000 years ago. The Roman soldiers used turnips as a primary source of nutrition at one point in time. Turnips eventually found their way to a number of nations in Europe. This crop was often the go-to selection for hurling insults at undesirable public officials, despite the fact that it was never a popular choice with certain Romans.

During the 15th century, the term “turnip eater” was established as a pejorative term for anybody from the country. Subsequently, the term came to be used to refer to idiots and other like individuals. The United States became a center for the cultivation of turnips in the early 16th century.

This vegetable has been a staple food for endless years, both for cattle and for those who were less fortunate. This resulted in turnips having a reputation problem in the United Kingdom and other nations. Turnips were often the sole food source available when bad circumstances such as food shortages, crop failures, and conflicts were present.

What Do Turnips Taste Like?

Given the wide variety of tastes, providing a response to this issue is challenging. Young turnips have a crunchier texture and a sweeter flavor than older turnips. On the other hand, turnips that are older have a taste that is surprisingly comparable to that of potatoes. They smell and taste sweet when cooked correctly, in a manner similar to that of beets but omitting the earthiness that beets are known for, however they have a harsh and disagreeable flavor if ingested raw.

Turnips come in a wide variety of varieties, each of which has its own distinct flavor. The bigger turnips have a substantially woodier flavor, in contrast to their smaller cousins, which have a tangy or sweet taste that is comparable to celery.

The following is a condensed version of the response to the question “what do turnips taste like?” that is asked rather often. because they are one of a kind and come in a variety of tastes. As a result, it is contingent upon the age of the root, the variety, and the method of preparation that you use.

What Are the Different Types of Turnips?

The following is a rundown of some of the most common types of turnips that you could come across.

Purple Top White Globe

This turnip has a taste that is spicy but not overpowering, and it is quite soft.

  • White Globe: This white turnip has a taste that is quite similar to the purple top variety, but it does not have the purple top.
  • Baby Brunch: These little turnips, about the size of marbles, have a taste that is the ideal combination of apple and radish and may be found in their natural habitat at farmer’s markets or more specialized grocery stores. White flesh may also be seen in baby brunch turnips.
  • Golden Ball:has roots that are three to four inches in length, perfectly spherical, amber in color, and packed with juicy flesh. They have a flavor that is mild and pleasant.

An older kind of turnip, this one has a diameter that ranges from 3 to 4 inches, depending on the exact measurement. Turnips known as golden ball turnips are spherical in shape, have a taste that is described as sweet, and have a yellow-gold hue.

  • Tokyo: This kind of turnip has a circular shape with a top that is quite flat and is known in Japan by the name Kabura. It has an uncanny similarity to white radishes that are anywhere from one to three inches in diameter and has a very similar shape. When cooked, Tokyo turnips take on a buttery flavor, while their raw state results in a crunchier and more sugary turnip.
  • Snow Ball: This white turnip variation is another kind of Japanese turnip that has a flavor that is described as mild and sweet. If the Snow Ball is kept for an excessively long time before being harvested, it may acquire an unpleasant bitter flavor.
  • Seven Top: These plants are cultivated more for their leafy greens than the turnips they produce. Even though Seven Top turnips may be eaten, the flavorful parts of the plant are the greens rather than the root. This is because the crop has focused its attention on developing the greens rather than the root.

Are Turnips Healthy?

It became clear that relying on this vegetable during times of armed conflict and food scarcity was a decision that made a great deal of sense. The following are some of the health benefits that come from eating turnips, which are a very nutritious vegetable.

Rich In Vitamins and Nutrients

The quantity of vitamin K that should be consumed daily may be satisfied by eating only one turnip. Through the promotion of blood clotting, it helps to control excessive bleeding that may be occurring within the body. In addition, one serving of turnips provides roughly 30 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, in addition to some trace amounts of other nutrients. Zinc, phosphorous, folate, magnesium, and calcium are some of the others; iron is also included.

Turnips have a high fiber content, which not only improves digestive health but also lowers the chance of developing intestinal illnesses like diverticulitis. A diet high in fiber is associated with this lower risk. A diet that is rich in fiber may also play an important part in controlling weight because it keeps our blood sugar levels constant and helps us feel fuller for longer periods of time.

Contain Dietary Nitrates

Let’s face it. A diet that is abundant in fruits and vegetables may significantly improve the health of one’s heart. Because they have a high concentration of nitrates in their diet, turnips are an essential component in the treatment of high blood pressure and the prevention of blood platelets from readily clumping together. Additionally, the potassium included in turnips helps to maintain blood pressure at a healthy level by dilating the arteries and facilitating the elimination of salt from the body. This contributes to the overall health benefits of turnips.

High Fiber

Because of their high fiber content, turnips are beneficial to digestive health and reduce the likelihood of developing diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal conditions. Because it helps you feel filled for longer, eating foods rich in fiber may have a significant positive influence on your ability to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess pounds. Additionally, it helps maintain a steady amount of sugar in the blood throughout the body.

Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, have been linked to a lower chance of developing cancer. Certain kinds of vegetables are loaded with chemical components that either shield the body against the development of malignant cells or drastically slow down the pace at which they spread.

Low in Carbs

Because turnips only have 0.13 grams of fat and 36.4 calories per serving, they are often used in place of potatoes. This is one of the primary reasons for this substitution. Turnips are your Holy Grail if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight but yet want to enjoy some delicious delights like a colorful vegetable pie. This is because turnips have less calories than other root vegetables. You might also try out a veggie shepherd’s pie, which is not only low in calories but also has a punch of flavor that will make you grin with each mouthful you take.

The Recommended Turnip Cooking Methods

The following are just a handful of the many different ways that this healthy vegetable may be prepared in the kitchen.


The majority of people like mashed turnips since making them is one of the least complicated and time-consuming methods to prepare food. Turnips and potatoes (or sweet potatoes) make a delicious combination that may be used to make a meal that will leave your mouth watering. Alternately, the mashed turnip may be used in place of mashed potatoes for a tasty and nutritious alternative.

Simply mash the potatoes with some salt, pepper, a generous knob of butter, and a splash of milk or a sour cream alternative until smooth. If the mixture seems to be a little on the dry side, continue adding milk or the substitution of your choice until it reaches the appropriate consistency.


Turnips that have been roasted are simpler to prepare than those that have been mashed, despite the fact that they taste just as good. After dicing the turnip root into bite-size pieces, season it with salt and pepper, then coat it with olive oil. Before adding a drizzle of honey, arrange the layers of the ingredients in a uniform manner on a baking sheet and toss in a few sprigs of garlic cloves and sprigs.

Roast the turnip at a temperature of 355 degrees Fahrenheit for up to half an hour, or until it has a golden brown exterior and is fork-tender on the inside. Watch this video to learn how to cook grilled turnips and pears drizzled with rosemary honey:


For the most delicious and comforting winter casseroles, turnips are an excellent ingredient to combine with potatoes, pumpkin, meat in gravy, carrots, onions, and parsnips. Rosemary, garlic, and bay leaves are all excellent additions that may be included to boost the taste. Place all of these ingredients, along with the beef stock, into a slow cooker. A delectable supper may be prepared by allowing it to simmer low and slow for four hours; after all, good things take time.


Do turnips taste similar to potatoes?

Turnips that are older and more developed have a flavor that is most comparable to potatoes. They have a tendency to be bitter when they are eaten raw, but if they are cooked properly, they will smell pleasant and taste sweet as well. If you cook them properly, they will have the flavor of beets but will lack the earthiness of beets. The flavor of young turnips may be either sour or sweet, similar to that of celery.

How would you describe the taste of a turnip?

It is common practice to compare the flavor of turnips to that of cabbage or carrots, but with the observation that turnips have a little sweeter taste. Cooking turnips causes them to soften and become more mushy, but raw turnips have a texture that is crisp and snappy.

Are turnips good for you?

The cruciferous vegetable known as the turnip offers a number of health advantages. They have an outstanding nutritional profile, and some of its bioactive components, such as glucosinolates, may help improve blood sugar regulation, guard against dangerous microorganisms, and offer anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

What is the best way to eat turnips?

You may have it baked, boiled, or steamed. You can prepare turnips in every method that calls for potatoes, and then more. You may bake them, boil them, or gently steam them with little butter, salt, or lemon juice to add flavor to stews, soups, and stir-fries. They are also delicious on their own.

Which is healthier potatoes or turnips?

The amount of calories in a serving of turnips is lower than the amount of calories in a serving of potatoes. The amount of calories in a serving of cubed turnips is 18 calories, whereas a serving of russet potatoes has 59 calories. Carbohydrates make up the majority of the calorie content in each of these meals. A cup of turnips has 4.2 grams of total carbs, but a cup of potatoes has 13.5 grams of total carbohydrates in an equal serving.

To Wrap Up

Since you now know a lot about the health benefits of this root vegetable and the many ways in which you may enjoy a turnip that has been prepared, why don’t you take the leap and find out for yourself what a turnip tastes like? Although the flavor of this crop is not one that appeals to everyone, you could find that you appreciate it enough to include it in your regular diet.

If you do decide to give it a go, please share your feedback with us in the area provided below the article. We’d be thrilled to get some feedback from you!