I just received a ray of sunshine in my mailbox. The first seed catalogue of the year! This catalogue is all about root vegetables, and the pictures are gorgeous!
Cooking with “winter produce” can be as much fun and creative as using summer produce. I think of “winter produce” as anything that can be stored and used in the winter from last summer’s garden. Primarily, that includes those veggies classified as root vegetables. Even though I can find all sorts of vegetables at the store, I often try to cook “in season.”
Root vegetables are easy to prepare. Almost once a week I roast a mix of root veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, garlic and onions. Whatever I have in the larder can be roasted or added to soups. Better yet — roast and then add to soups! Lately, I’ve been inspired to try new recipes such as Sesame-Ginger Beef Stir-Fry and Roasted Carrots with Dill.
Sure, root vegetables are tasty and hearty, but are also very healthy for my body and mind.
My seven favorite root vegetables:
- Sweet Potato: Rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin A, sweet potatoes are also a good source of antioxidants, including beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes can help improve blood sugar control, preserve vision, and strengthen immunity and skin health. I love that I can find many different varieties at the store.
- Potato: Lately, potatoes have lost in the “Which is healthier, sweet potatoes or potatoes?” challenge, but don’t discount the nutritional value of the potato. These filling tubers are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. Beware of the extras like butter and cheese that can add a lot of calories to your potato. Get a double dose of root veggie goodness from this Grilled Potatoes and Onion recipe.
- Onion: What’s not to love about onions? Onions are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, protecting our cells against oxidative damage, and preventing disease. Studies show onions can reduce blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes. Read more about loving onions.
- Carrot: Did your mom tell you to eat carrots because they are good for your eyes? She was right! Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which has been connected to a lower risk of vision issues. Plus, carrots can reduce “bad” cholesterol, and increase antioxidant levels.
- Garlic: I’ve never used garlic to ward off vampires, but I do know it helps to keep away colds. Plus, it can reduce heart-disease risk, and improve mental health. I always have garlic on hand. Check out our tips for cooking with garlic.
- Beet: I rediscovered beets as an adult, and was amazed at how much I loved them. Did you know that beets can help your exercise performance by improving blood flow? The nitrate in beets also helps reduce the growth of cancer cells.
- Ginger: An aromatic root when cooked or steeped, ginger has properties that help reduce inflammation and nausea. Add to tea, soups, stir-fry or smoothies to enjoy its fresh zing of flavor! Try this recipe for Ginger Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes for double the root-veggie deliciousness!
Other delicious and nutritious root vegetables include:
While I have my favorites, I also love these!
Fennel: Known for its licorice flavor. Add to all varieties of dishes such as soups, salads; enjoy roasted or sautéed.
Jicama: A crisp and refreshing vegetable that is rich in fiber and vitamin C. Great raw in salads, but can also be cooked.
Kohlrabi: Use the greens and the bulb in salads, soups and sautés.
Radish: A crunchy, spicy root vegetable that, like the jicama, is often eaten raw, preserving the vitamin content.
Parsnip: Resembling a white carrot, it is a less-sweet root, and delicious when added to a tray of roasted veggies or in soups and stews.
Turnip: The greens are great to eat as well.
Rutabaga: A sweeter, denser version of a turnip. It provides fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Turmeric: When ground, this spice has been shown to improve joint pain, reduce blood-sugar levels, and aid symptoms of depression. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Spice up your meal plan this week with Turmeric-Spiced Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salsa.
Note that root vegetables are best stored in a cool, dry space.
Root for Your Favorite Recipes Using Root Veggies!
Search in your DinnerTime Recipe Box to find more tasty and nutritious recipes with your favorite root vegetables as an ingredient.
Remember to rate recipes, and “favorite” them to your recipe box.