Root vegetables are the part of the plant that normally grow downward and anchor the plant into the ground where nutrients and moisture are absorbed.
They range in color from white, to bright pink, to orange and to deep red. Flavors range from sweet to mild and nutty.
These vegetables are low in fat and calories, rich in carbohydrate and most are good sources of fiber. Other nutrients vary according to the specific vegetable.
Beets, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes and turnips are examples of root vegetables. Roasted root vegetables are a wonderful and hearty option to serve in cold weather. They can be served solo or combined like in the following recipe:
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH FRESH ROSEMARY AND GARLIC RECIPE
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
10 garlic cloves with skin removed
1½ cups carrots sliced in ½ to ¾ inch slices
1½ cups parsnips sliced in ½ to ¾ inch slices
1½ cups sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut in ½ to ¾ inch cubes
1½ cups turnips, peeled and cut in ½ to ¾ inch cubes
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a glass 8 inch x 13 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray.
Combine oil, rosemary leaves, black pepper, salt and garlic cloves in a large glass bowl and stir to mix. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Place vegetables in prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn with large spoon or spatula. Return to oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until desired doneness and vegetables have a nice roasted color. Garnish roasted vegetables with rosemary sprigs. This recipe makes 6 servings. Each serving contains approximately 135 calories and 5 grams fat.
These vegetables can be served with any main dish protein such as baked chicken breast, sliced turkey breast, pork chops, lean beef or fish. Complement with a green salad and a whole grain roll.
Becky Varner, MS RD LD
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