Swedes

Swedes belong to the same family as turnips and cabbages.

They are a hybrid between a turnip and a type of cabbage and were developed in Sweden in the 17th century and are also known as Swedish turnips or rutabaga - Swedish for red bags, which refers to the purple, bronze crowns. Different cultures have developed their own ways to use them.

Swedes have a delicate, sweet flavour, a great texture and are very versatile. The top half of the swede is purple, and the lower half cream. Swedes are more available in winter and taste better after a good frost, therefore the best swedes in New Zealand are reputed to be those grown in Southland. The leaves are eaten in many countries, however, it's the edible roots that are commercially available in New Zealand.

What to look for

Choose smaller swedes, about the size of a cricket ball, with smooth skin and firm flesh.

Availability

All year; limited supply in summer.

Store

Refrigerate in plastic bags.

How to prepare

If swedes are fresh and young, leave the skin on. Otherwise peel and cut to size.

Ways to eat

Swedes can be eaten raw if fresh and young. Older swedes can be boiled, mashed, stir fried, roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, glazed or pickled. They absorb flavours well so add to soups, stews or braises. Flavourings such as nutmeg, parsley, coriander and black pepper go well with swedes.

Cooking Methods

Bake, boil, braise, microwave, steam, stew.

Nutrition

SWEDE Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Servings per package:        
Serving size: 1 cup, cubes = 140 g      
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 176/42 2% 125/30  
Protein (g) 1.12 2% 0.8  
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0% 0.1  
 - saturated (g) 0.02 0% 0.02  
Available carbohydrate (g) 7.1 2% 5.1  
 - sugars (g) 6.9 8% 4.9  
Dietary Fibre (g) 3.8 13% 2.7 A source of Dietary Fibre
Sodium (mg) 29.4 1% 21  
Vitamin C (mg) 27 67% RDI* 19 A good source of Vitamin C
Niacin (mg) 1.4 14% RDI* 1 A source of Niacin
Thiamin (mg) 0.14 13% RDI* 0.1 A source of Thiamin
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.32 20% RDI* 0.23 A source of Vitamin B6
Potassium (mg) 223   159 Contains Potassium
Folate (µg)  14 7% RDI* 10  
Iron (mg) 0.2 2% RDI* 0.1  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs  
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
         
Source: FOODfiles 2016        

Retailing

Place next to turnips. Offer samples of raw swede. Pre-pack with carrot and parsnip as a soup mix. Customers may not know how to use swedes, so use the QR code on labels.

Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%.

Purchase swedes with the New Zealand GAP logo.

Recipes

Swede with lemon
Swede with lemon

This slightly sweet lemon sauce can be used on other vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, kūmara, turnips, pumpkin or yams. View Recipe

Quick minestrone soup
Quick minestrone soup

Using sprouted lentils in soups instead of traditional dried beans, lentils or split peas speeds up preparation time. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

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