Rutabagas, a root vegetable, are thought to be a cross between a cabbage and turnip and have originated in Europe in the 17th century. They are also called Swedes, Russian turnip, Swedish turnip, Canadian turnip, yellow turnip and winter turnip.
While Rutabagas resemble turnips, there are some important differences. Rutabagas are larger than turnips and have a white and purple exterior, creamy orange flesh and ribs near the stem. Turnips, on the other hand, have a smoother exterior and are white and purple-red on top. Flavor-wise, turnips have a peppery taste while rutabagas are sweet when roasted.
Rutabagas are high in potassium and are also a good recommendation for vitamin C. In addition, they contain magnesium, calcium, folate and phosphorous.
In the grocery store, look for medium-sized four-inch diameter or less) rutabaga because they are sweeter than larger ones. Also choose rutabagas that are firm with smooth, unblemished skin.
Rutabaga are often waxed and so should be pealed before eating. They can be eaten raw or roasted, boiled, steamed or stir-fried.