Go beyond the salad

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?

One of my go to meals during the winter months, when all you want is to cosy up with a warm meal, are root vegetables.

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.

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 swede – 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:

  1. Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying. 
  2. Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores. 
  3. Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and has a respectable amount of antioxidants.
  4. Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.
  5. Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, have a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium.
  6. Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid. 
  7. 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: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 1 sweet potato
  2. 2 parsnips
  3. 2 carrots
  4. 2 turnips
  5. 1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash)
  6. coconut oil or butter
  7. salt and pepper
  8. herbs: rosemary, thyme, or sage (fresh, if possible)
  9. optional: your favourite dip (hummus, guacamole, baba ganoush, or any other favourite dip of yours)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Wash and dice or slice all vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
  4. Drizzle with melted coconut oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  5. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.
  6. Serve with your favourite dip. 

Tip: any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

Enjoy!

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