June 20, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 22:30
“There is music in the meadows, in the air--
Autumn is here.” — William Stanley Braithwaite
Growing sweet and strong all summer long, root vegetables reach their rich peak of perfection in autumn. Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy seasonal beauties, such as creamy white parsnips, sturdy red and golden beets, crisp orange and yellow carrots, big brown, red and ivory potatoes, terra cotta colored sweet potatoes and yams, as well as purple topped turnips and rutabagas.
From their lumpy, bumpy and earthy looking humble beginnings, root vegetables can be transformed to beautifully smooth, silken purees, crisp cubes for a heavenly autumn hash, or roasted to succulent perfection. Root vegetables make stunning soups, and can be baked into tasty tea breads, or luscious cakes heady with the spicy scents of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Low calorie, fiber rich, root vegetables offer a host of healthy benefits. Carrots, for example, are one of the most potent sources of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant capable of eradicating free radicals in the body.
Roasting carrots in a little olive oil will make them more easily digestible. Sweet potatoes are an excellent choice of slow release carbohydrates, keeping you full and satisfied. These delectable dark orange darlings boost energy levels, help lower blood pressure and are a prime source of vitamin E, potassium and iron.
The intense fiber content of parsnips can help promote healthy bowel movements, and their sugar content also provides a natural energy boost. Thinly sliced slivers of parsnips roasted to golden crunchiness are a spectacular autumn snack.
Root vegetables contain significant amounts of vitamin C, as well as beta carotene, which combine to clean the blood, and prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Root vegetables can be a vital part of a delicious life as the high fiber content, wealth of nutrients and natural sugars, curb cravings for junk food.
10 carrots peeled, trimmed and cut into chunks
8 baby turnips, peeled (or larger turnips peeled and cut in chunks)
6 to 8 potatoes (any variety) peeled and cut in chunks, or halved if on the smaller side
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large beets, peeled and cut into wedges
2 onions, peeled and quartered (I prefer a sweet onion like Vidalia)
1 or 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
4 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Smoked Spanish paprika (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place all vegetables and herbs in a large roasting pan. Season with salt , pepper and a little smoked paprika. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until vegetables are well coated. Roast for 45 minutes to one hour, turning vegetables every so often until they are golden brown.
Excellent with roasted chicken or turkey.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
For more information go to theconsciouscook.net, call 203-393-1037, or http://confessionsofaconsciouscook.blogspot.com.
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