Go Beyond the Salad…Root Veggies!

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?

Roots 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.

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?

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.

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