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9 Ways to Make Root Vegetables Anything but Boring

author image Arthur Bovino
Expert restaurant, food media, and travel writer with strong opinions about pizza, bagels, and sushi who has mastered the art of pinning chefs against critics with his own rating system. Arthur is the managing editor for online indie food site Previously, he was the executive editor and a founding editor for The Daily Meal, one of the highest-trafficked food sites. A trained cook with experience reporting at The New York Times, Arthur has written for Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, Rough Guides and Time Out and has appeared on New York One and the TODAY Show.

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9 Ways to Make Root Vegetables Anything but Boring
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

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.

1. Roasted Sunchoke Soup
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

1 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

2. Roasted Rutabaga Fries
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

2 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

3. Brovada (Italian Wine-Soaked Turnip Sauerkraut)
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

3 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

4. Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Lamb and Leek Ragu
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

4 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

5. Celeriac Irish Champ
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

5 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

6. Parsnip Morning Muffins
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

6 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

7. Roasted Pickled Beets
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

7 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

8. Hasselback Carrots
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

8 Hasselback Carrots

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

9. Oden (Japanese Daikon Soup)
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

9 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

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: robynmac/Adobe Stock

What Do YOU Think?

What’s your favorite root vegetable? Do you ever cook with them? Which of these recipes would you try? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Related: 10 Vegetables You've Probably Never Heard Of

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