Root vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world. They grow under the earth’s surface and absorb nutrients from the soil. They are packed with a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and iron. Root vegetables are also filled with fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer and aid in digestion.
There is a long list of root vegetables, some of the more popular are sweet potatoes, yams, beets, carrots, parsnips, fennel, turnips, rutabagas, yuca, onions, garlic, celery root, jicama, horseradish, turmeric, radishes, and ginger are all considered roots.
While each root contains its own set of health benefits, they share many of the same characteristics. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular root vegetables.
Carrots-One of the most well know veggies and root vegetables packed with nutrients. Carrots glow with the antioxidant beta-carotene, Vitamin A & K. A popular crunchy snack when consumed raw, but sweet and delicious roasted or sautéed. Look for beautiful vibrate colors of carrots in orange, purple, yellow, red, and white.
Turnips-A filling root vegetables, turnips are full of fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. This veggie can be swapped for any potato recipe. Try substituting in place of fries, mashed turnips, or make a tasty turnip coleslaw. Turnips have a bright purple color on the lower tip.
Beets-An earthy taste to them and high in nutrients, beets are a very popular root. Beets have a high concentration of nitrate which helps support exercise performance and provide more blood flow to your brain. Beets can even support to lower your blood pressure. This root, high in folate and manganese, can be added to many different types of recipes. Try adding beets to your smoothies, on your salads, or roasted with other root vegetables.
Onions/Garlic– A staple in many kitchens, onions are used in many dishes to provide flavor, fiber, and Vitamin C. There are different types of onions, however, all have the same flavor and smell. Whether diced, roasted, slice or sautéed, onions provide much flavor to any food combinations. Garlic is another root veggie that is used to provide more flavor to dishes. Nutritionally garlic is high in Vitamin C and B6, but most importantly an immune system booster to help fight off infections.
Ginger-a smaller root that is related to turmeric, ginger is antioxidant-rich. Noted for providing herbal remedies, ginger can be used to flavor soups, stews, tea, and smoothies.
Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes-Sweet potatoes are high in both Vitamin A and C along with fiber. They are sweeter and less starchy than regular potatoes, however can be cooked the same at regular potatoes. Try boiling, baking, and roasting sweet potatoes at a side dish, or make it a main dish. Potatoes are a starchier root veggie, but high in fiber and vitamin C.
All produce needs to be washed before preparing, but root vegetables need just a little more attention. Follow these easy steps to make sure all the dirt is out of your roots!
Cleaning your root vegetables like beets, potatoes, and carrots is a must before preparing. Even if you’re planning on peeling your vegetables, a good cleaning is essential to wash off any dirt and bacteria. After all, these vegetables are pulled out of the ground by their stems.
Start by cleaning countertops, cutting boards, and utensils with hot soapy water before peeling or cutting produce. Bacteria from the outside of raw produce can be transferred to the inside when it is being cut or peeled.
Wash root vegetables under running water, rub briskly with a firm brush to remove dirt. You can choose not to peel your vegetables after washing well, or peel and then rise again before placing on your countertop to prepare.
13 Healthiest Root Vegetables. Healthline.com
A Guide to Root Vegetables. Ohmyveggies.com
What Are Root Vegetables? SouthernLiving.com