When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. That’s all good, but there are plenty more plant-based options to satisfy your taste buds and nutrition requirements. While I love a good salad, sometimes I don’t want a cold meal so I look for dishes that can add some heat to my salads or can be eaten as a side dish. This is why I love root veggies – they give me warmth and make me feel full!
As many of you are aware, carbs can get a bad rap; but complex carbohydrates (the good kind!) are essential for a healthy diet and include root vegetables that can add flavor and variety to any meal plate.
Root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates.
Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them.
Here are a few reasons why to eat more root veggies.
Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs.
Which root vegetables do you eat most? If you’re like most of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes. Here are a few others to explore:
- Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying.
- Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores.
- Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants.
- Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.
- Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.
- Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium.
- Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid.
- Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber.
Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s a fun, easy recipe:
Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 parsnips
- 2 carrots
- 2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
- 1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash)
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash and dice all vegetables into bite-sized cubes.
- Place in a large baking dish with sides.
- Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
- Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.
Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.
Enjoy the roots! I’ll look forward to hearing about your creations!
If you are curious about how to choose root vegetables and other nutritious foods; or would you like help being as healthy as you can, then let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today. Click here for more information!