What do turnips taste like? Are turnips keto-friendly? How many carbs are in turnips? Get these answers and delicious low-carb and keto-friendly turnip recipes!
What are Turnips?
Turnips are a low-carb root vegetable and are a part of the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, rutabaga, and radish (which are also similar in taste). They are cool-weather vegetables that are typically grown in the spring and fall. But, you can typically find them year-round at grocery stores.
Turnips are round and bulbus at the base with leafy stems sprouting from the top (which are also edible). However, there are many different types of turnips that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Most grocers sell the more mature, purple-top turnips (common in the fall) or baby, white turnips (common in the summer).
Are Turnips Keto Friendly?
Yes, turnips can be enjoyed in moderation while on a keto or low-carb diet.
How Many Net Carbs are in Turnips?
According to the USDA, one cup of turnips (which has been salted, boiled and drained) is 4.7 net carbs (7.8 grams of total carbohydrates and 3.1 grams of fiber) and has 4.6 grams of naturally-occurring sugar. And that one cup of turnips is just 34 calories, 1.1 grams of protein and .1 grams of fat.
What Do Turnips Taste Like?
The crispy, white interior of turnips tastes similar to radishes, potatoes and even cabbage. Baby white turnips slightly differ in flavor from more mature, purple-top turnips.
Baby white turnips, which are grown in the spring and picked in summer, are similar to radishes is size and can be eaten raw. Many people toss them in salads or roast them. Baby turnips are somewhat tender and slightly sweet and peppery in flavor.
Mature, purple-top turnips can be more peppery and bitter in taste, which diminishes after peeling the tough, outer skin and cooking. Because of this, many people either boil, roast or fry the purple-top turnips.
Since turnips are somewhat similar in flavor and texture to potatoes, many people substitute turnips in popular potato dishes like scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes and fries.
Turnips are a good source of vitamin A, B6, C and K. Turnips are also high in fiber and water, and low in calories.
Are Other Root Vegetables Low in Carbs?
Many root vegetables are starchy and higher in carbohydrates. Turnips are an exception since they're low in carbohydrates compared to other root vegetables.
As Harvard Health Publishing indicates, eating more carbs than your body needs can spike your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. Here are the amounts of carbohydrates and fiber in other root vegetables.
1 medium potato = 26 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber
1 medium sweet potato = 23 grams total carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber
1 carrot = 7 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber
7 radishes = 3 grams total carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber
1 beet = 8 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber
1 cup parsnips = 24 grams total carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber
Source = USDA, usda.gov
How to Buy the Best Turnips
Whether you're buying baby white turnips or mature, purple-top turnips, you should look for firm, crisp turnips without any defects (or at least very minimal). The leafy tops should be green and fresh looking.
You should avoid turnips that are rubbery or less firm in texture. When purchasing mature, purple-top turnips, look for small to medium-size turnips since they tend to be less bitter and woody in flavor.
Much like potatoes, turnips store well over a longer period of time. After the leafy greens are removed from the top, the bottom, bulbous portion will keep for a few months in a dry, sealed container.
Tasty Keto Turnip Recipes
Air Fryer Turnip Fries: Air-fryer turnip fries are a healthier take on French fries! These turnip fries turn golden brown in the air fryer and taste amazing when dipped in sugar- free ketchup or mayonnaise.
Turnip au Gratin: This rich and creamy turnip au gratin is easy to whip up and such a comforting side dish! It’s a perfect side dish for holiday dinners.
Roasted Turnips: Roasted turnips are subtly sweet, creamy in texture, and so easy to make. They're perfect for breakfast or dinner!
Keto Scalloped Turnips: These keto scalloped turnips taste like regular scalloped potatoes, but with much less carbs. They're super simple to make and totally decadent!