Nutritional value of turnip tops
The turnip top (Brassica campestris, cymosa variety) belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is a typical vegetable of Italian agriculture, grown mainly in Lazio, Puglia, Calabria, Molise and Campania, in which 95% of the dedicated agricultural area extends to this plant.
In many areas of cultivation the name “turnip top” is reduced to just the term “turnip”, thus creating misunderstandings with the homonymous vegetable.
The budding inflorescences are eaten from this plant together with the more tender leaves that surround them, according to recipes that, in general, refer to the local tradition in the different regions.
Due to its characteristic of vegetating and producing with low temperatures, it is considered an autumn or winter vegetable, which is recommended for use due to its content in mineral salts, vitamins and antioxidant factors.
The turnip top is widely used and very widespread in traditional southern cuisine, in particular in that of Puglia, Calabria and Campania.
It is eaten cooked and is the main ingredient of many typical dishes of the Apulian cuisine, including the famous “orecchiette with turnip tops”, “strascinati and cime di rapa”, “stewed turnips with chilli”, “broad beans and turnips. “,” turnip greens “.
We prefer the use of young specimens, no more than 15 cm, due to their less bitter taste. In the area of Mottola (TA), on the other hand, the use of more adult specimens, between 25 and 30 cm, is preferred, accompanied by a sauce of land snails.
Nutritional factsheet –
The turnip greens, in addition to its characteristics, are also highly appreciated for its low caloric value, which is 22 kcal per 100 g. Its average chemical composition is as follows:
– 92% water;
– 2.9% protein;
– 0.3% of lipids;
– 2% carbohydrates;
– 2.9% fiber.
Furthermore, in 100 g of edible part there are: 1.5 mg of iron, 97 mg of calcium, 69 mg of phosphorus, 225 µg of vitamin A, 110 mg of vitamin C, as well as a high content of polyphenols.
Turnip greens are therefore rich in minerals and vitamins, in particular A, B2 and C. These vegetables are also quite rich in proteins.
Turnip greens are a source of minerals, vitamins and proteins which are very suitable especially after a convalescence phase.
To better assimilate the iron contained in turnip greens, it is advisable to eat them lightly blanched in salted water and seasoned with lemon.
Turnip greens have detoxifying properties and are low in calories. Their folic acid content makes them a particularly useful food during pregnancy. They have remarkable antioxidant properties and help the body detoxify and purify itself. They are also useful in case of asthenia.