Posted by: nightmistwalker | October 14, 2013

Herbs of Samhain – Turnips

The turnip is a root vegetable that was a staple of the diet of European peasantry. It grows well in marginal soil and is easy to cultivate. It held the place in the European diet that the potato held in the new world.

The turnip is a healthy food.  It contains vitamin C, potassium and calcium. The greens, which can be boiled, contain all of the assets of the root, but also includes beta carotene.

Turnips can be prepared in a variety of ways, including boiling, stir-fried, and steamed. My Irish grandmother prepared turnips as we would prepare mashed potatoes, although she used some different spices, which counteracted the flatulence that some people suffer from eating turnips.

Traditionally, turnips were hollowed out and used as hand lanterns or candle holders. At Samhain, this function has again been taken over by the pumpkin.

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