A turnip is a vegetable that is often overlooked, however, it is versatile with a delicious and sweet but slightly mild taste which complements the flavor of many dishes.
Turnips are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and they are also a great source of protein, phosphorus, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Mashed potato is a popular side dish that is served with many meals, but have you ever thought about swapping this staple comfort food for mashed turnips?
Thanks to the versatility of turnips they can be prepared in a number of ways.
Of course, they provide a great substitute for mashed potatoes, but they can also be baked or roasted if you would prefer.
Unlike potatoes, turnips contain more nutrients but fewer calories and less starch.
Moreover, the texture of turnips makes them difficult to over mash so you needn’t worry about them developing a glue-like consistency.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes, why not try making your own deliciously creamy mashed turnips following the guide that we have provided you with below.
Removing The Bitter Flavor
Typically, turnip root has a sweet and slightly peppery flavor, however, sometimes they can taste a little bitter and this is not something that you want to notice in your mash.
Turnips that are intended for consumption by humans are harvested when they are small.
They become bitter when they are left to grow too big or are not harvested soon enough. Selecting the best turnips and adopting the correct cooking techniques can help to eradicate this bitterness.
When you visit the grocery store select turnips that are small with a weighty feel.
Although this may mean that you require more for your dish, smaller turnips usually taste sweet and do not have the same bitter taste as those that are larger. Also, make sure that the turnips you choose are not coated in any blemishes.
If you have already bought your turnips and are concerned that they are going to be bitter, there are some additional ingredients that you can use to make this far less prominent.
The first option involves the use of ghee. This is a type of clarified butter that contains more fat than butter itself. You can either purchase a pre-made version from the store or you can make your own.
Another option is to use potatoes. Peel your turnip and then chop it into cubes, add it to a pan filled with water and a stockpot. Then, add some chunks of potato to the same pan.
The potato will absorb the bitterness of the turnips.
To ensure that your mashed turnips retain their creaminess when mashed, alternatively, you may choose to use coconut oil or some type of vegetable shortening.
It is worth noting that there are two different types of coconut oil available. If you do not like the taste of coconut and do not want it to be noticeable in your dish, it is recommended that you opt for refined coconut oil.
Thickening Mashed Turnips
Turnips have a high water content and also do not contain as much starch as potatoes. As such, you may find that your mashed turnips have a thinner consistency than you were expecting.
This is an issue that you will encounter when trying to mash some other vegetables too and whilst it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may not accommodate the preferences of everyone who attempts to make this mashed dish.
There are a few steps that you can take to make your mashed turnips thicker.
After making your mashed turnips, you may notice that the water has started to collect at the top of the dish. Set your turnips aside for a few minutes and then drain off this excess water. If there is not a lot, or even any water in the dish then the potatoes are not going to have such a thin consistency.
As we have mentioned, potatoes can be used to remove the bitterness from turnips but did you know that you can use potatoes to make your turnips thicker. Simply mash a small amount of potato too and then combine it with your dish of mashed turnips. After you start mixing, you will likely notice that the consistency starts to get thicker.
The final option is to add a flour or starch alternative. As you are likely aware, both of these ingredients are prohibited on the paleo diet as they restrict the consumption of wheat based ingredients and those with starchy content.
There are several alternatives that are allowed and therefore make great paleo substitutes.
This includes almond flour, cassava flour, and coconut flour. Avoid adding too much straight away. Instead, add a small amount and then put in more if the mash is still not as thick as desired.
Making Mashed Turnips
Below we have provided you with a step by step guide detailing each step involved in the process of making mashed turnips. It’s a straightforward recipe that is easy to follow.
First, you will need to ensure that you have all of your ingredients to hand. Next, take the turnips that you are going to be using and give them a rinse before peeling them.
Slice your turnips into large chunks of even sizes. Cutting them into even sized chunks will ensure that they all cook through evenly. You will also need to make sure that you have a cooking pot readily available.
Add the turnips to the pot and pour over some cold water, and a sprinkling of salt before introducing them to the boil.
Turnips do not take a long time to cook, in fact, they will be ready within 10 to 15 minutes. To check if they are done, pierce them with a fork. If they feel tender, they are ready to be removed from the heat.
Now you will need to drain the turnips thoroughly to remove the water. To prevent your turnips from developing a thin and watery consistency, put them back into the pot and return them to the heat.
Keep them on the heat for approximately 3 minutes, regularly shaking them to stop them from sticking to the base of the pan or burning.
Add your cooked turnips to a bowl and start mashing them. If desired, you may wish to use a blender. This will make the task easier on your behalf. Program the blender to the correct setting and you can then begin.
A great thing about using a blender is that most models have multiple settings so you can control the functionality until the mash arrives at your preferred consistency.
As you blend or mash the ingredients together you can then add almond milk and ghee. Remember, to add a small amount to begin because you can always add more but you cannot take it away. Also, add a sprinkle of salt according to taste.
There you have it, an easy to follow guide for great tasting mashed turnips that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Alternative Ways To Prepare And Cook Turnips
As previously touched upon, turnips can be cooked in several ways. Whilst they taste delicious when mashed, they can also be grilled, roasted, made into fries, sauteed, added to a salad, or even served raw. If you are a cooking enthusiast, why not experiment with this vegetable and see what great tasting dishes you can create.
What Ingredients Complement The Taste Of Mashed Turnips?
If you intend to make mashed turnips, you may be wondering what you can serve them with. As I’m sure you are aware by now, a turnip is a versatile vegetable that goes well with an array of dishes.
Those looking to make a savory dish may choose to serve turnips with meat such as bacon or roast beef. If you do not eat meat, you can serve them with rice or chickpeas instead.
Serving mashed turnips with herbs or spices is really going to enhance the taste of the dish. Add some chives, coriander, garlic, or paprika (not together of course) and you will then have an enjoyable dish.
Whilst mashed turnips can be the core meal, they also make a great accompaniment to other main dishes.
As you can see, creamy mashed turnips are super easy to make and this dish can be rustled up in a couple of minutes.
Turnips themselves are of course paleo-friendly and you can also use some paleo approved substitutes to create the mash instead of butter, milk, and flour.
If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to serving this dish, you will be pleased to know that turnips go well with many savory food items as well as an array of herbs and spices.
Should you find that you have made too much mashed turnip, you can store it inside the refrigerator in a covered container for 3 to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for a maximum of 3 months, but you should expect there to be a difference in the consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Soften A Turnip Before Cutting?
If your turnips are a little tough, likely they are going to be difficult to cut. To make them softer, you can utilize your microwave.
Can You Eat Raw Turnips?
Yes, turnips taste just as good raw. If desired why not grate some turnip and add it to a salad dish. Alternatively, you can add it to some coleslaw. Turnips also taste delicious when served with other vegetables because they enhance their sweet taste.