It's root vegetable time again and tucking in to some tasty roasted parsnip, beetroot and swede last night (along side a delicious pumpkin... just the season too… but not a root!), it reminded me of the great benefits of the roots.
The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance.
Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity.
Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.
Our body is often so happy with the sweetness we get from roots that it won't even be asking for a dessert!
How to cook them?
My two favourite ways to cook root vegetables are to either roast them in the oven or to make soup with them. Both are so easy to do.
Roasted roots – cut up a selection of root vegetables into small chunks, chop a red onion and add all ingredients to an oven proof dish. I like to add a few cloves of garlic in their skin which are delicious when roasted. Add olive oil and season to your liking and roast in the oven at around 200 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour – turning around occasionally.
To make an easy soup with the left over roasted vegetables – simply transfer to a pan, cover with boiling water and add a bay leaf or some vegetable stock (optional). Leave for 5-10 mins and then puree (remove the bay leaf first)
Here are a few recipes you have maybe not considered: