Turkey

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 05. Nov. 2020

Read up on what makes turkey one of the most nutritious meats around.

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Turkey...

  • ...is a good source of niacin.
    Turkey breast contains a good 11 milligrams of niacin. The body needs this substance, also called vitamin B3, to help form fatty acids, among other things.
  • ...supports blood formation.
    Turkey is a good source of iron, which helps the body form new blood cells.
  • ...contains a lot of protein.
    No other meat contains as much protein as turkey. 100 g of turkey meat contains a whopping 5 g of protein.
  • ...is ideal for low-carb dieters.
    Turkey is ideal for those on low-carb diets as it’s rich in protein but contains 0 carbs.
  • ...helps keep teeth and bones strong.
    Turkey is rich in calcium and phosphorus, minerals which help keep the teeth and bones strong.
  • ...is incredibely lean.
    Turkey breast is not only the leanest poultry meat, but also the lowest-fat meat of all. This makes it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight.
  • ...dries out easily.
    Turkey breast contains almost no fat, making it a good dieting food but also meaning it gets dry quickly and can become tough easily when cooked. However this can be avoided: simply sear it briefly to start, then reduce the heat and fry it very slowly at low heat. Depending on the thickness, this takes about 20 - 30 minutes. Remember to turn the meat from time to time so that it browns equally on both sides.

What You Should Know About Turkey

Season

Turkey is available fresh or frozen at any time.

Flavor

The white breast meat tastes very mild, dark turkey meat from the legs has a much stronger taste.

How Healthy is Turkey?

It is true that turkey meat contains few calories. This is especially true for breast meat. The darker turkey meat from the leg contains almost four times as much fat, but at 3.6 grams is still within the green range.

Turkey is a great ingredient for dieters or anyone looking to stay slim. It is packed with protein, containing more than any other meat, but has no carbs and very little fat. It's also rich in a variety of nutrients including iron, which helps the body form new blood, niacin, phosphorous and calcium, which promote bone and teeth health, as well as B vitamins including the powerful B12.

TURKEY NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g, without skin)  
Calories 40
Protein 5 g
Fat 2.2 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

Fresh turkeys will always have a stronger flavor than frozen varieties, although frozen turkey tastes fine in many recipes. No matter whether you're purchasing fresh, frozen or deli turkey, try to buy organic when you can. Non-organic farms can often engage in inhumane farming practices, which are not just cruel but yield a less flavorful meat that can often contain traces of toxic chemicals such as antibiotics.

Storage

Turkey meat is particularly sensitive and spoils very quickly. Therefore, always store it in the coldest compartment of the refrigerator and prepare it on the day of purchase if possible. 

Preparation

If you're use frozen turkey, always defrost it slowly in the refrigerator. Pour away the defrosting liquid, rinse the meat briefly and then dab it dry with kitchen paper.

Fresh turkey should always be rinsed and dabbed dry for safety reasons.

Remember that it's important to set aside a cutting board you use only for raw meats. Preparing a raw turkey on a cutting board and then using it to cut vegetables, even after you've washed it thoroughly, can easlily lead to contamination and ultimately illnesses such as salmonella poisoning. 

What to Make With Turkey

Whether breast or leg: turkey meat is excellent for grilling and roasting. Dark turkey meat from the leg is also perfect for braising, as it contains more fat and does not dry out as quickly as turkey breast.

Always cook turkey meat through completely to render any bacteria that may be present harmless. Do not be afraid of dry cutlets or roasts: even the very lean turkey breast fillet will be super tender if you first sear it and then slowly finish cooking on a low heat.

If you value the highest possible protein content, turkey meat is best combined with protein-rich legumes or mushrooms. In this way the body receives a whole package of animal and vegetable protein. This combination is particularly well suited to the body's needs. Another good way to boost the protein balance is to serve a savory dip made from yoghurt with your turkey.

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