Celebrate Root Vegetables This Month!

There really is a month to celebrate everything. Some years that can seem silly. This year, we take joy where we find it! Some people might roll their eyes when they hear that December is “Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month.” We’re not focusing on the exotic fruit, it’s nice when you try it but sometimes hard to find in the supermarket. Instead, we want to celebrate root vegetables. They don’t get as much attention as they should!

Onions go into so many savory dishes; they are an unsung hero of the culinary world. So much of the time, we focus on the star of the dish — whatever protein or special ingredient that we’re using. Onions are just a staple that goes in everything, and we take them for granted, but so many dishes would be lost without them! They are probably the most commonly consumed root vegetable. There is a good chance you eat them more than once a week without even thinking about it!

Root vegetables can be high in starch. Potatoes and sweet potatoes, for instance, are high in carbohydrates. But, radishes only have only 20 calories and four grams of carbs in a one-cup serving. They also contain vanadium that can aid insulin sensitivity. And, even when a root vegetable is high in carbs, the fiber it contains can sometimes counterbalance it. For instance, a cup of mashed turnips has 11.6 grams of carbs and 4.6 grams of fiber. That makes it an excellent alternative to mashed potatoes that lack a high fiber level. Potatoes might be the weakest link when it comes to their carb to fiber ratio. This week we shared some excellent rutabaga recipes that were all just potato copycats: goodbye, carbs and hello, yum!

Because root vegetables are harder than most other veggies, we often default to one of two ways to cooking them: mashed or roasted. While mashing won’t work for all of them — you can’t mash an onion — roasting is always a winner. Roasting is a great way to cook in the winter. The oven warms your whole kitchen, which is pleasant. It’s relatively low effort. And, using just a small amount of oil, you can have delicious crispy vegetables! Roasting brings out the vegetable’s natural sweetness without adding any sweeteners. Roasted vegetables also retain more of their nutrients than boiled, microwaved or stir-fried veggies.   

Root veggies are a winter vegetable because they store so well and are fresh throughout the winter months, retaining their nutrients and great flavor. We know that sometimes we sound silly because of the things we get excited about, but we think they’re worth celebrating! So now, when you’re cooking this month, take the time to appreciate the smell of the onions cooking and the vegetables roasting in the oven… But we’ll still get teary when chopping the onions!

Banner image: Christina Rumpf via Unsplash
December 09, 2020
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