New Year, New Food

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I love finding unusual fruits and vegetables to incorporate into my daily routine – changing up the types of vegetables provides your body with the right balance of nutrients and encourages you to get creative with cooking.

The most recent unique vegetable I’ve incorporated into my meal planning is rutabaga. This lesser known round root vegetable originated as a cross between turnips and cabbage. It is nutty and mildly sweet tasting and can be roasted, sautéed, baked, boiled, mashed, or added to soups and stews. It is a popular dish around the world, with various native preparations. In the Netherlands, it is traditionally served boiled and mashed served with sausages. In Australia, rutabaga is known as swede, and is used in casseroles, stews and soups to enhance flavor.

In the United States rutabaga is also mostly eaten as part of stews or casseroles or served mashed with carrots. For this recipe, I decided to change things up a bit and roast the rutabaga with uniquely flavored dressing – tangy apple cider vinegar paired with Dijon mustard, pure maple syrup, and spicy red chili flakes.

The nutrient content of rutabagas makes them a great cancer-fighting vegetable. Not only are they low in fat, but they contain multiple vitamins and minerals. Like other cruciferous vegetables, rutabagas are high in antioxidant and other anti-cancer compounds.

Rutabagas are particularly high in vitamin C. One cup provides more than 50% of the daily recommended value, which helps provide immune system-supporting functions. Rutabagas are also a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin and vitamin B6.

This recipe for Maple Dijon Roasted Rutabaga is simple and fast, requiring only about 10 minutes of prep time. Allow for some cooking time, however, because the rutabaga wedges can take anywhere between 30-60 minutes to roast, depending on the size of the pieces. Apple cider vinegar adds a nice tangy flavor that works well with the naturally sweet flavor of rutabaga and the maple Dijon dressing.

What unique vegetable have you tried recently?

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