When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plan? And now is the time to try something different, when we have so many Farmers Markets to go to, and fresh produce to be had, including some root vegetables.
Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are all a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them.
Why 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? Probably, it’s carrots and potatoes, right? Did you know a more diverse diet makes for a healthy gut?
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:
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) I like Herb de Provence mix myself (savory, thyme, basil, marjoram, lavender, parsley, oregano, tarragon, bayleaf powder, rosemary and fennel) 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.
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