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Swedes are available all year round, but they are harder to get in December and January


Storage and Handling

Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating. 



Swedes have been around since the 17th century when the swede was developed in Sweden, from a hybrid between a turnip and a type of cabbage.



  • Swedes belong to the same family as turnips and cabbages
  • Different cultures have developed their own ways to use them
  • The Scottish serve them boiled and mashed with their traditional dish, haggis
  • In the American Midwest they are mashed and candied
  • In Finland they are casseroled with cream and spices
  • Swede is also known as Swedish turnip or rutabaga, rutabaga is Swedish for red bags, referring to the purple, bronze crowns
  • Swedes are quite similar to turnips, however, swede flesh is yellow orange, not white, and they taste sweeter than turnips
  • Swedes are more available in winter and are said to be better tasting after a good frost, hence the best swedes in New Zealand are reputed to be those grown south of Gore in Southland
  • Although the leaves are eaten in many countries, it is the edible roots that are commercially available in New Zealand
  • Swedes have a delicate flavour, great texture and are very versatile


Growing Facts

  • Plant in January to April
  • They take about three to four months to grow and are best harvested after a frost

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 75g - 1/2 cup, chopped, boiled

Avg Quantity per serving Avg Quantity per 100g
Energy (kJ/Cal) 77/18 103/25
Protein (g) 0.7 0.9
Fat, total (g) 0.08 0.1
- saturated (g) trace trace
Carbohydrate (g) 2.8 3.7
- sugars (g) 2.6 3.5
Dietary Fibre (g) 2.1 2.8
Sodium (mg) 9 12
Vitamin C (mg) 12.8 17
Niacin (mg) 0.75 1.0
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.09 0.12
Folate (µg) 11.3 15
Iron (mg) 0.3 0.4

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 8th Edition, Plant & Food Research

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