Swedes grow to be about the size of large potatoes. Even though they are actually members of the cabbage family, they resemble turnips more. On the outside, they have a hard, rough, thick whitish-colored skins. Swedes have a distinct dark purple band around their tops. On the inside, their firm flesh is yellow. If you’re looking for a different type of tasty vegetable to put on your dinner table, then you should learn how to grow, store, and serve Swedes.
Call them “Swedes”, “Neeps”, or call them “Rutabagas”, this vegetable is an excellent way to add healthy fiber and vitamins to your diet. One cup of raw swedes provides 35 milligrams of Vitamin C, 472 milligrams of potassium, and 812 International Units of Vitamin A.
To grow your own swedes, you’ll need to start a garden patch real early in the springtime. Or, plant them later in the summer so you can enjoy a tasty harvest in the fall This vegetable grows the best in cool weather.
Work up the ground with a rototiller or a hand plow so the soil is loose and aerated several inches down. Remove any sticks, rocks, and other debris with a garden rake. Then, plant your swede seeds in rows that measure about eighteen inches apart. The seeds should be planted about a half inch down into the soil. Once the rows of swede seeds are planted, be sure to keep them well-watered so they can germinate. While you’re waiting for that to happen, keep your garden patch free from weeds.
To grow swedes, when the tiny plants reach two inches in height, you’ll need to thin them down so they are about six inches apart. Follow the seed package directions in order to achieve the best results. Generally, though, your swedes will mature in about three months. You’ll know when they’re ready to harvest when they are three to five inches around the largest part of their bodies. Keep in mind that the smaller they are, the sweeter tasting they’ll be.
Once you harvest your swedes, store them in your refrigerator or in a vegetable cellar. They should keep for a week in the refrigerator. If they are kept cool enough, they’ll last for several months.
Swedes can be served in a variety of ways. They can be boiled, baked, mashed, put in casseroles, soups, stews, and in stir fry recipes. If you have a taste for it, you can even eat these vegetables in their raw form. Swedes are delicious when they are boiled and mashed and stirred into mashed potatoes.
To fix swedes, you must first wash and peel them. Because their skins are hard, swedes can be a chore to peel. But if you pop them in your microwave oven for a minute or so, the heat will help soften their skins so they’ll be easier to peel.
Check your recipe books for ways you can cook swedes to make delicious meals for your dinner table. If you can’t find any recipes there, perform a search on the Internet. You’re sure to find many different ways to use your homegrown swedes.