Meet the root veggie that is ready to replace potatoes in your keto diet!
The keto diet is a great way to jumpstart weight loss and get your health back on track. While you get to enjoy some tasty things like bacon, one food that is hard for keto dieters to part with is potatoes.
Potatoes have far too many carbs to work on the ketogenic diet. Having them can send you right out of ketosis and defeat your efforts. But if you miss that starchy root veggie, you can replace it with turnips.
So, are turnips keto-friendly? Yes, they absolutely are! Before you pile them onto your plate, though, here’s what you should know about them so you can include this nutritious root vegetable in your meals.
Turnips are a keto-friendly way to enjoy something from the root vegetable group. In a 100-gram serving of boiled turnips, you will only get 22 calories and 5.1 carbs. As part of those carbs are fiber at 2 grams, you are fully in line with the keto commandments when you eat turnips.
There are more reasons to reach for these root veggies though. You’re getting vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese, and calcium, plus a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
That means you can get the satisfying fill of potatoes through turnips. And if you want a root veggie with an even lower amount of carbs, radishes fit that bill. However, turnips are closer to potatoes in taste and texture. Radishes have that sharp bite to them that, while delicious, are certainly not easy to use for replacing potatoes in a keto diet.
Why Eat Turnips on the Keto Diet?
As mentioned, turnips make for an excellent veggie to eat on the keto diet because they have a low amount of net carbs. Limiting your net carb consumption, so it stays between 20 grams and 30 grams each day is the way to stay in ketosis and reach your weight loss goals.
With turnips, though, they are low in fat, so ideally, you will want to eat them with foods that are high in those healthy fats. You’ll want to use olive oil, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil when you prepare it. Of course, bacon works too! Since your body uses fat as energy in that state of ketosis, it’s important not to forget this little trick.
Turnips have an excellent nutritional profile that includes potassium. This mineral helps nerves effectively send signals in the body while keeping your muscles, including your heart, working in healthy operation. Lack of potassium puts you at risk for having high blood pressure and blood sugar as well as kidney stones, weak and brittle bones, and stroke.
Another thing turnips have are glucosinolates. These are plant-based chemicals that could help prevent cancer. Then there’s lutein, an antioxidant. This one helps with eye health, letting you see more clearly for years to come.
Turnips are wonderful for bone health too. They have plenty of calcium which has long been known for strengthening bones as well as helping the nerves, muscles, and heart function optimally.
What to Do with Turnips
The one thing that seems to mystify people most is buying and preparing turnips. They’re not any more challenging to work with than potatoes, though.
It might be tempting to reach for the largest ones when shopping for turnips. But don’t do that! The smaller turnips are the youngest ones. The larger they are, the older they are. And older turnips will have a tough, woody texture and a small taste. Chances are, if you’ve had turnips and hated them; you’ve probably had an old one.
So, reach for smaller turnips which will have the sweetest flavor and best texture. You want them to feel heavy for their size and be firm to the touch. Avoid selecting turnips that have nicks and cuts. When the greens are still attached, your clue to a good turnip is that those greens are bright and fresh-looking in appearance.
Once you select turnips, you may not know how to get them ready. But that’s easy! All you do is remove the greens and wash away any dirt. They keep best when you wrap them tight and put them in your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer for about two weeks.
But how do you prepare those turnips into keto-friendly meals? That’s easy! Just think of what you’d do with regular potatoes, and you’re there. You’ll want to peel them and trim the tops before cooking. The only exception is Japanese turnips, which have a thinner skin that you can start cooking with after cleaning them off. As for those turnip greens, you can boil, steam, or stir-fry them too.
Here are some suggestions for what to make with your keto-friendly turnips:
- Slice them thin and serve raw in a salad
- Pickle them as you would with cucumbers
- Roast them in the oven
- Sauté them in a pan
- Mash them
- Turn turnips into fries
- Make a low-carb country skillet with bacon
- Create a cheesy turnip bake
- Serve keto turnip gratin
There are plenty more ways to make those turnips work for you when stocking to a keto diet plan. If you have a favorite potato recipe, swap the potatoes for the turnips, and you will have FOMO no more!