Turnips and Turnip Greens

Written by: Tina Kozman CNP, M.Ed, B.Sc,

Turnips are Nutrient Dense

Turnips are loaded with fiber and vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2 and folate (one of the B vitamins), as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper. They are also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. There are several well studied compounds in beets, one of which is called betalain. Research on betalains has shown that it provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The detoxification support is more specially to do with the phase 2 of the liver. Its interesting to note that betalain is the pigment that gives beets its beautiful dark, rich, purply color. You can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard ) the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets is exceptional and you and gives you an a great opportunity to benefit from its health benefits.

Turnip Greens are Highly Nutritious

( yes they are edible!)

Due to their rich carotenoid content, turnip greens are found to be rich in beta-carotene and lutein (two well-studied and health-supportive carotenoids). Beta-carotene is the easiest carotenoid for our body to convert into the retinol form of vitamin A.

Turnips and their Greens are a Good Source of Calcium

One cup of cooked turnip greens provides 229 mg calcium. Rich sources of calcium, such as these greens, can help to naturally strengthen - boneswhich is increasingly important with age

Tokyo Turnips

One day, I got turnips in a local farm food share as a challenge because I had never cooked with them before. I was really hoping for some inspiration before they turned. As I sat, watching my daily Marilyn Denis show, Mina Masooud came on to speak about his new cookbook that featured all vegan meals from around the world. To my delight, he featured a turnip recipe! Lucky day for me indeed. I got up right away and gave it a whirl, and I must say, it was delicious! I ate the entire serving myself without being able to offer it to anyone else.  And after realizing that I could eat the greens AND that they were so nutritious I felt very good about my decision to devour the dish. Bon appetite.


SERVING: 2 pers

TOTAL TIME: 15 min

Dressing for the Turnips

  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • Leaves from 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded if you prefer a more mild sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt


  • 1 bunch baby turnips, with leafy green tops attached
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons plain vegan yogurt, for serving
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, for serving

Dressing For the Turnips


In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, mint, garlic, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, cloves, and vinegar.


Pulse a few times to coarsely chop everything, then, with the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally. Process until the sauce is smooth.


Season with the salt.



Trim the tops from the turnips, then rinse both the turnips and greens and pat them dry. Cut the turnips in half lengthwise.


In a medium nonstick, or cast -iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turnips, cut-side down, cover, and cook until browned on the bottom and just tender, two to three minutes. Transfer the turnips to a medium bowl.


Add the turnip greens to the skillet and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about one minute. Transfer to the bowl with the turnips. Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat. Store the remaining dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Spoon the turnips and greens onto plates. Drizzle with the yogurt and sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top before serving.