9 Ways to Make Root Vegetables Anything but Boring
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2017
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Winter root vegetables are often overlooked in favor of the more popular kale, broccoli and the like. But root vegetables are not only deliciously versatile, they’re also full of health benefits. Beets, sweet potato, carrots and other root vegetables can help lower inflammation, promote skin and eye health and fight free-radical damage. From roasted rutabaga fries to parsnip morning muffins, these scrumptious recipes might just convince you to add more root vegetables to your dinner rotation.
ROASTED SUNCHOKE SOUP
Sunchokes — also known as Canadian artichokes or Jerusalem artichokes — are a sweet, nutty tuber with a taste that’s reminiscent of water chestnuts and, well, artichokes. When roasted they become deliciously creamy. And for this recipe, we’re roasting sunchokes with potatoes, garlic and onions and then blending everything into a tasty soup. Sunchokes provide digestion-boosting dietary fiber and potassium, which helps reduce stroke risk and lower blood pressure.
Related: Roasted Sunchoke Soup Recipe
ROASTED RUTABAGA FRIES
Craving fries? This rutabaga fries recipe is for you. Substituting rutabaga for potatoes considerably reduces your caloric intake. One 120-gram serving of french fries has upward of 365 calories, while 200 grams of rutabaga fries will net you about 75 calories. Mildly sweet, rutabagas are a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. They’re also a good source of fiber, zinc and vitamin C.
Related: Roasted Rutabaga Fries Recipe
BROVADA (ITALIAN WINE-SOAKED TURNIP SAUERKRAUT)
This northeast Italian dish from Friuli (the region bordering Austria) doesn’t have as much notoriety as sauerkraut, and that’s a puzzle because it’s definitely got an edge in the flavor department. Brovada is traditionally made with shredded turnips — rich in calcium and vitamin C — that are fermented for weeks with grape residuals left over from winemaking. But this recipe quickens the process by using crushed grapes and red wine vinegar. Brovada is an easy, filling side that pairs scrumptiously with grilled pork tenderloin or chicken sausage.
Related: Brovada (Italian Wine-Soaked Turnip Sauerkraut) Recipe
SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI WITH LAMB AND LEEK RAGU
Here’s a sweet potato dish that isn’t your standard casserole or pie. Making boiled gnocchi with sweet potatoes adds a slight sweetness — the perfect contrast to a savory meat ragu. And while gnocchi can get a bad rap, lightening them with part-skim ricotta cuts one serving to fewer than 200 calories. Sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar and provide antioxidant benefits.
Related: Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Lamb and Leek Ragu Recipe
CELERIAC IRISH CHAMP
Native to Northern Ireland, champ typically consists of potatoes blended with scallions. But we’re putting a twist on this classic by using celeriac — commonly known as celery root — instead. Bumpy, brown and rough, the exterior of the celeriac may look unappealing. But underneath the peel you’ll find a delicately nutty interior that tastes like celery. High in fiber, potassium and magnesium, celeriac is also an excellent source of phosphorous, which helps supports tooth enamel.
Related: Celeriac Irish Champ Recipe
PARSNIP MORNING MUFFINS
Here’s a tasty morning treat to wake up to! Our muffins showcase grated parsnip, which is closely related to carrots and parsley. It’s an excellent source of potassium, which reduces blood pressure, and soluble fiber, which aids with weight loss by helping you feel full longer. But besides parsnips, our muffin also boasts sweet hints of apple, beets and carrots.
Related: Parsnip Morning Muffins Recipe
ROASTED PICKLED BEETS
Pickles that are good for heart health? Sign us up! One cup of beets contains 10 percent of your daily vitamin C and magnesium, which help form collagen and control your blood pressure. Beets are also a good source of fiber, providing nearly four grams in a one-cup serving (that’s almost 15 percent of your daily value). To prevent the beets from staining your skin, be sure to use rubber gloves when handling the vibrantly red root vegetable.
Related: Roasted Pickled Beets Recipe
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the hasselback potato rose to fame after a Swedish restaurant named Hasselbacken first served it in the 18th century. But there’s no reason why this simple slicing technique can’t be used to bring a little panache to other root vegetables like carrots. Simmering them first in a little vegetable broth keeps them moist for roasting. Carrots offer antioxidant, cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits. A medium carrot also provides two grams of fiber, which is about 7 percent of your daily recommended value.
Related: Hasselback Carrots Recipe
ODEN (JAPANESE DAIKON SOUP)
It may not get the Instagram love that Japanese soups like ramen and udon do, but this traditional low-calorie stew makes for a filling and heartwarming winter dish. With a clear broth that’s made from seaweed and bonito flakes, oden is a one-pot dish that features daikon, fish cakes, boiled eggs and more. A white, mild-flavored root vegetable, daikon is packed with immune-boosting vitamin C and calcium, which is essential for bone health.
Related: Oden (Japanese Daikon Soup) Recipe
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