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Scientific NameBrassina napus var. napobrassica (Brassicaceae family)
The term "swede", is rooted in the vegetable’s Swedish origins. It is also known as “rutabaga”, which comes from the Swedish rottabaggar for “turnip cabbage”.
In French-speaking Quebec, it is sometimes called “chou de Siam”, an old expression, formerly used in France and which seems to have preceded its current name, since it appears in 1798 in the dictionary of the Académie Française.
The swede is called “cabbage-turnip” because it belongs to the Cruciferea family like all varieties of cabbage, mustard plants, turnips and cress. There are white varieties and purplish-blue varieties with white flesh and, lastly, the most refined in terms of taste,- yellow swedes with a yellow flesh.
Vegetable garden: growing swede
The swede is shaped like a large turnip and is yellow/green in colour. It has a strong, earthy flavour. It is an autumn and winter vegetable. The swede is a low-calorie cabbage that grows in the ground. Its root is rich in vitamin C. It is a winter vegetable with a white to orange flesh. Steamed, it has a sweet taste and is often associated with sage, thyme, curry or nutmeg. It is available from September to May.
It is produced in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States.
It is most often eaten in soups, mixed with other vegetables, but it can also be eaten alone as an accompaniment to a meat dish, for example.
It seems that swede possibly originates from a cross between kale and a turnip (hence the name “cabbage-turnip”). This hybrid probably first appeared in Europe, since the first example is found there in the late Middle Ages. It is not mentioned in books until 1620, the year a Swiss botanist described it in detail. The English name “swede” or “swede turnip” suggests that this hybrid was first produced in Sweden.
Nutritional values (per 100 g)
*USDA ** Recommended Daily Intake
Its fibre content stimulates regular bowel movements, while its high levels of potassium provide it with natural diuretic properties. In addition, it is very low in calories.
What is about portions...?
-a child portion : four table spoons of grated swede
-an adult portion: a medium ladle of grated swede
Cooking and nutrition: tasty combinations
-Stews: a classic French dish, the “pot au feu” always contains a turnip or swede, to enhance its aromatic delights. This dish offers a variety of vegetables with complementary nutritional properties: beta-carotene from carrots, vitamin B9 from leeks, vitamin C from all of the vegetables and various forms of fibre.
-Gratin of swede: once cooked, serve the swede in a gratin dish and cover with a white sauce and grated cheese. This dish is sure to be a hit with the whole family, with fibre, calcium and vitamins guaranteed.
Swede is one of the cabbage family. People with sensitive digestive systems can cook swede with a few caraway or anise seeds to avoid any odours that are too strong.
Swede is high in potassium, which means it has naturally diuretic properties. A source of vitamin C, even when cooked, it will contribute - as it used to in the past - to covering your daily needs throughout the winter.