Sweden: The Vegetarian Kitchen

Swedish kale or rutabago is among those staple cold veg, which always crop up on a kitchen table in the frosty winter months. This quick yet delicious dish makes an appearance also on special family gatherings such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. What exactly is a Swede/Siberian kale. Swedish kale is also known as Rutabaga in US, it is a cross between a turnip and cabbage.


Cabbage and Swede are hybrid plant; however, it is the look of the vegetable, which makes it distinct from the common cabbages like bouillon and turnips. The leaves of a Swedish turnip and cabbage are very smooth with rounded tips and dark green color. The rutabaga variety is a cross of sweet potato and turnips, making it a slimy vegetable with a somewhat similar outer appearance to turnips. The leaves of a sweet potato are small and dark green, nearly black in color, while its rutabago counterpart has a bluish-green appearance with yellow tips.

Both roots of sweet potato and turnips are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is highly beneficial for our body. In addition, as it is a low-fat, low-sugar and cholesterol reducing vegetable, it can help reduce bad cholesterol and prevent cardio diseases. It is also rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as riboflavin, folate, potassium, iron and phosphorus. In fact, according to some studies, the rutabaga is more beneficial to the heart than the cabbage variety, as it contains a lesser amount of calories and fat.

As we all know that vegetables do not contain vitamin c, therefore to increase the vitamin c in our daily diet we can add a turnip or Swede. The reason why it is beneficial to eat swede is because of its high contents of vitamin c; this is because of the presence of carotene and beta-carotene, as well as lycopene, which is the pigment responsible for giving carrots their orange pigment. In addition, cabbage contains only a small amount of vitamin c, but its color is much brighter than that of turnips and sweet potatoes and is therefore preferred. However, studies show that it is not possible to provide a direct comparison between turnips and Swedes because of varying factors; nonetheless, the results showed that both vegetables have a high vitamin c content.

When eating a turnip or Swede it is recommended to leave the skin intact, this is to avoid damaging it during cooking. Also, after removing the skin, wash it under running water, drain it and rinse again with cold water. Then, pat the swede dry. When preparing swede or cabbage, you can use a brush or a knife to remove any little dirt that is still attached. When cooking the vegetables ensure that you drain the water completely before adding it to the food. It is also advisable to use a mesh basket to keep your vegetables separate from each other.

The next vegetable on the menu is the potato, which is a relative of sweet potatoes and turnips and is commonly known by us as rutabagas. We can start off cooking them in either boiling water or just salt and butter over medium heat. Ruttae can be pureed in boiling water or with the help of a processor until they become a smooth consistency. Alternatively, you can mash them, chop them up or cut them into chunks. You can also puree them in boiling water or salt and butter over medium heat.

The last vegetable on the menu for the Swede is the root vegetable which is also known as adzuki bean. You can either roast or steam these to make them tender enough for picking off the roots. This is also known as tuna. Swedish Swedes are also known for their large root vegetables and we are not different.

We love roasting casseroles made with swede and adzuki beans. These are very good with vegetable trays such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes, onion and garlic. You can also throw in celery and mushrooms for a real treat. For an extra boost add some potatoes, chopped summer onions, chopped parsley and green peppers. There are many ways you can cook and serve up your favorite casserole for dessert.