How many of you like to eat between meal snacks? How many like fresh fruit or vegetables as part of those snacks? I need to have several snacks each day, and surprisingly, I consider them one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy body weight. Dividing my daily food into several small meals and snacks means I never get ravishingly hungry, or uncomfortably full; feelings that used to be part of my everyday life.
Do any of you eat raw vegetables on a daily basis? What do you think of when I say “raw vegetables?” Peeled baby carrots? Celery sticks? Broccoli? Lettuce? Carrots are probably my favorite, but my second favorite may surprise you: It is Rutabaga!
I was introduced to the root vegetable in a dietetics class entitled “Meal Management,” 20 years ago at the University of North Dakota. The instructor, Dr. Uhlenberg, required every student to taste each of the 20 raw vegetables she had prepared and placed in our classroom. I was very surprised to discover that there were few vegetable I didn’t like, and a few, like rutabaga, were actually very tasty. When I share this information with people, they always ask: “How do you eat a rutabaga?” Well, let me show you!
Rutabagas are roots which are covered with wax and sold in the store next to the potatoes, squash, and onions. Size doesn’t usually mean much, but sometimes the really large ones are a little woody. Select one that is fairly small for starters, and your next one can be larger when you discover how delicious they are!
Use a paring knife to cut the wax and skin off, leaving a firm golden nugget.
Cut the nugget into stick size pieces, small enough to eat with your fingers, and to dip in your favorite low calorie sauce. I am partial to “Silver Spring” brand Chipotle Mustard, with no fat, 5 calories per tsp, and a ton of flavor. Enjoy!