To many this might be some ugly and undesirable plant. But we have always been told not to judge a book by its cover and that’s the exact case with the rutabaga. Peel that waxy rough surface and you have a delicious root vegetable that taste like a cross of squash and sweet potatoes in my opinion.
I remember growing up that rutabagas was a common dish in my grandmother’s home. I used to really enjoy her mashed rutabagas which is a much healthier alternative to mashed potatoes. However, for whatever reason I hadn’t ate any rutabagas since my childhood. But the other day from out of nowhere I began to think about childhood memories of eating this ugly but delicious plant food.
I then decided that I was going to try to cook some even though I had no idea what I was doing. I peeled and cut them into 1 inch cubes. I placed them on a baking sheet and drizzled olive oil on the top. I seasoned the rutabagas with sea salt, crushed black pepper, and smoked paprika. I also made wild grain rice, black eyed peas, and red cabbage. This meal was absolutely fantastic!
Even better than the taste of rutabagas are the health benefits. I feel the largest aspect to consider is the cancer fighting properties in this root vegetable. Rutabagas contain sulfur-based compounds in the form of glucosinolates that give it its anti-cancer properties.
A present enzyme in the body called myrosinase reacts with glucosinolates which stimulates isothiocyanates. This process causes death to cancer cells. Oddly enough this root vegetable is in the cruciferous family which is known to reduce the chances of prostate cancer.
So let me get this straight. This root vegetable has the ability to fight against colon and prostate cancer?! The top 2 out of 3 cancers diagnosed in men can have their chances reduced by almost 40% by eating more from the cruciferous family?! So why aren’t you fellas eating your rutabagas?! Cut back on the meat consumption, eat your delicious rutabagas and get loaded with these cancer fighting antioxidants.