Why Roasting Makes Vegetables Sweet

We love roasting foods. It’s our favorite way to cook many fall veggies. November is National Roasting Month. It makes sense that November is the month designated as it’s one of the best ways to cook a holiday turkey or ham! Pot roasts are also an excellent meal this time of year as they warm up your kitchen as the meat and vegetables cook together in your oven! But we think vegetables are the best type of food you can roast!

One of the reasons we love roasting as a cooking method is that it makes vegetables so sweet! Roasting doesn’t add any sugar to veggies; it doesn’t make them less healthy: it just caramelizes the natural sugar. That makes roasting a great way to cook vegetables for people with blood sugar concerns. You can have the sweetness without adding any sugar!  

Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables — especially carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts,” said registered dietician Susan Bowerman. “The dry heat of the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables, which brings about an amazing depth of flavor. And, it’s super easy.”

Like all cooking methods, roasting does make vegetables lose some of their nutrients. But it’s actually one of the healthiest ways of cooking. You don’t need any oil to soften them, unlike cooking them in a pan. You need just a tiny bit to keep them from sticking to your baking tray and help them brown.

Unlike most methods, the way you apply heat changing the vegetable’s flavor significantly. Boiling, microwaving or stir-frying all cause vegetables to lose more nutrients than roasting. There is one downside to roasting compared to other cooking methods: charring can create cancer-causing compounds on your food. So make sure you make your veggies golden, not charred.

Another massive benefit of roasting that we love is that it’s easy. Once you have the veggies prepped, you put them in the oven and then turn them once in a while until they are done. It’s not like stir-frying or sautéing. And you don’t need any sauce or an impressive main course to make them delicious: they are a great side with anything!

So, if roasting isn’t your go-to way of preparing vegetables, either try it out or get back into the habit this month. National Roasting Month doesn’t just have to be about turkey! Now that the hot weather has passed, it’s time to enjoy some tasty, easy veggies coming out of the oven in your warm kitchen!

Banner image: Melissa Walker Horn via Unsplash
November 16, 2020
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