3 delicious ways to use root vegetables your whole family will love
By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD
With so many delicious root vegetables in season right now, it’s a great time to
experiment with new ways to make them. Here are just a few ideas to get started.
1. Raw root salads
If you have strong digestion a salad can be a good option for many root veggies.
It involves the least processing and therefore maintains the root’s rich nutrient
value. Plus, it’s quick!
Grate, chop or slice any of the following. The small bite-size pieces (i.e. the
large surface-to-volume ratio) makes them sweet, stimulating and delicious. And
you can mix them too!
Tips for choosing root vegetables: Firm is good.
Too hard and dry or too soft and mushy are all bad. Because roots are in the ground,
they can sometimes be subjected to extremes of moisture that lead them to develop
rot if it’s too wet, or wither and harden if it’s too dry.
Buy organic whenever you can. Roots are more likely than most plants to be affected
when pesticide runoff or other contaminants are present in the water and soil. Wash
them thoroughly and peel them as needed before using them.
2. Steamed, boiled and mashed, or roasted
Some popular root veggies — like sweet potatoes, yams and rutabagas — are too hard
or dense to work well raw. But they’re delicious steamed or roasted. Plus, many
can be boiled and mashed as you probably already do when you make potatoes.
Try this roasted root vegetable with onions recipe
From the Amazing Acid-Alkaline Cookbook by Bonnie Ross
The first time you make this dish, cut up more than you need of everything except
the onions and freeze the extra in a gallon-size freezer bag. Then the next time
you want it, all you have to do is thaw it, cut the onions, season and bake.
Sweet potato tip: Be sure you’re not confusing sweet
potatoes with yams. Many people think they’re the same thing — but they’re actually
completely different plants. Sweet potatoes are orange or yellowish inside and have
a light yellow or copper-colored skin. Yams are white, purple or reddish inside
and have a dark skin.
3. Soups and chowders
I love to prepare hardy, alkalizing root veggies in soups and stews. When cooked
in soups, the roots are both warming and easy to digest. Onions, leeks, sweet potatoes,
carrots, parsnips and many others can be used in soups, stews and chowders, either
as an added ingredient or the main attraction. French onion soup and vichysoisse,
a potato, onion and leek soup traditionally served cold, are two examples of root-centric
Onion and garlic family tip: Let your diced onions,
garlic, shallots or leeks sit for five minutes or so after slicing them. “Wounded”
onions and garlic develop increased antioxidant activity in a short time frame after
being cut. Throwing them immediately into a hot pan or soup prevents you from taking
advantage of that characteristic. When it comes to onions, all good things really
do come to those who wait a little while!
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