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Rutabagas are root vegetables and smell (to me at least) like cabbage. It makes sense because rutabagas originated as a cross between cabbage and turnips. The smell can be off-putting but they taste really good.
Rutabagas have sulfur-containing antioxidants called "glucosinolates" which are known for reducing the growth of cancerous tumors. They also contain Vitamin C (one serving has over 50% of your RDA) and carotenoids which fight free radicals; in other words, they help prevent the mutation of healthy cells. In doing so, they can improve eyesight and help prevent premature aging. What a neat little vegetable!
Rutabagas also contain plenty of fiber and one serving has about 65 calories in it so you can feel good eating them and because they are high in potassium and really low in sodium, it can help lower your blood pressure. Other vitamins that are found in rutabagas in decent amounts include: zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. All of those help maintain bone tissue.
Many people replace potatoes with rutabagas because rutabagas do not have as many carbohydrates. They are a healthier and wiser choice for diabetics because rutabagas have 20% less carbs than potatoes and because of the nutritional values, they are a wiser choice.
Rutabagas can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be baked, roasted, braised, steamed, stir-fried or boiled. Use them to enhance the flavor of a soup, casserole or stew or serve them as a side dish with about any meal. If using them raw, they can be tossed in a salad. The crunch that dehydrated raw rutabagas provide really garnish your salad. Anyplace you need a bit of crunch for taste texture, dehydrated rutabaga would work. You can cook them and prepare them as you would mashed potatoes but just be sure to always peel them because they are generally waxed so you must peel them before eating. Cook them until soft and serve them with butter, salt & pepper and a dash of nutmeg. The nutmeg really brings out the flavor in rutabaga.
To dehydrate a rutabaga, rinse them well and then peel them.
A peeled rutabaga.
Using a mandolin or sharp knife (please be careful), slice the rutabaga about 1/8" thick.
Turn on your dehydrator to 135 degrees and let them dehydrate 10-12 hours. I generally turn them on before I go to bed and they are ready the next morning. When completely dehydrated, they are nice and crisp.
Some people eat them straight out of the dehydrator as a vegetable chip or you can place them in a mason jar to be used at a later time.