Root vegetables are known for their comforting taste and grounding qualities. Nothing quite satisfies like the smell and warmth of home-roasted carrots or mashed potatoes for dinner, right? In addition to being tasty comfort food, root vegetables also have a unique nutrition profile.
Of course, exact nutritional values depend on the variety (you can visit www.nutritiondata.com for specific information), but here is some general nutrition info:
- One cup of cooked celeriac, radish or turnip has 25-42 calories, while beets, burdock, parsnip or rutabaga has 66-110 calories.
- All of the common varieties (carrots, potatoes, beets, celeriac, daikon radish, parsnip, rutabaga, and turnip) are all very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- All are a good or very good source of dietary fiber.
- Beets, radish, rutabaga and turnip have higher sugar contents.
Because root vegetables function as the energy storage organ in a plant, they are nutrient dense. Common nutrients include folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins B6 and C.
The recipe below calls for roasting potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips — simply because I wanted to warm up the house. Root vegetables are also great in soup and as a mash. Try adding diced celeriac to minestrone soup or turnips to potatoes for a mash. Also, most root vegetables are interchangeable, just keep in mind that sweet potatoes cook faster than the others.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees, and line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut into chunks 1 cup potatoes and 1 cup turnips and toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and then spread onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes.
Add to the bowl 1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into chunks, and toss to coat with remaining oil. Mix the sweet potatoes with the other veggies and roast for an additional 15 minutes, until all vegetables are tender and begin to brown.
Meanwhile, lightly oil a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup shallots, sliced very thin, and fry lightly, until they’re translucent and start to crisp. Set aside.
Top veggies with shallots and serve hot.
Post and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!