During the cold season, our bodies naturally crave foods that are warming and nourishing, and root vegetables are the perfect choice to help you stay strong during the winter months.
Besides their health benefits, root vegetables also make convenient pantry stocks – they are widely available, affordable, stay fresh for a long time when stored properly, and you can rest easy knowing you always have healthy food on hand.
They can be used to create a wide variety of dishes, from the most familiar family recipes to sophisticated, exotic, and creative combinations. Some root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, or parsnips usually form the base of a dish, while others – like ginger and curcuma – are used as spices.
Whether you choose to roast them, make a cream soup, dip, or salad, here are some of the best and tastiest root vegetables to stock up on and eat during the cold season:
Parsnips are a good source of fibre, vitamins C and K, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants that can help to boost your immune system. They are delicious roasted with herbs and delicious cream soups.
Sweet potatoes are another great option for wintertime eating. They’re packed with vitamins A and C – both important for immunity. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fibre, which can help to keep us feeling full and satisfied. They taste like a combination of carrot, squash, and regular potato. Even though their consistency is hard at first, they cook easily and become creamy, perfect for purees, curries, and pie fillings.
Celeriac is a good source of vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium and fibre. It also contains antioxidants that can help to protect our cells from damage. Its intense, earthy flavour combines well with the sweetness of carrots and apples – simply grate them together into a salad. You can also dice celeriac and add it to veggie soups, or roast it together with other vegetables.
Spice up your dish with ginger, turmeric, and burdock. These roots have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help to improve your overall health.
Ginger is a particularly effective remedy for nausea and indigestion. It is especially popular thanks to its sharp flavour, which is a combination of spicy, earthy, and citrusy. From Asian cuisine to gingerbread and tea, it’s a versatile ingredient with various uses.
Curcuma is a genus of herbs with nearly 100 accepted species, of which the most widely known and used is turmeric. Turmeric powder is used as a basic ingredient in Asian cuisine, as a spice (for example, in curry dishes) or as a yellow/orange natural food colouring. It is often used for its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has possible positive effects in the fight against cancer, support for cognitive function and Alzheimer’s, as well as for liver diseases.
Burdock root is a good source of fibre which can help to regulate digestion. Plus, it also has a high content of antioxidants. It can cleanse the blood of toxins, may inhibit some cancers, can be of help in skin problems and may have aphrodisiac effects. It might come as a surprise, but this bitter-sweet root is very tasty when roasted with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, or it can be added to Asian stir-fries.
All of these root vegetables are low in calories and fat, making them a healthy choice for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
If you are looking for delicious recipes, look no further! We have some amazing recipes from Medical Medium, that are perfect for the winter time:
✤ Liver Rescue Broth ✤
Makes 2 to 4 servings
Medical Medium calls this broth “warming liquid gold” for good reasons. It’s easy to make and filling. Plus, it can be stored in ice cube trays in the freezer for whenever you want to add a boost of flavour to other recipes.
∙ 1 bunch celery, diced
∙ 6 carrots, diced
∙ 1 winter squash, cubed
∙ 2 yellow onions, diced
∙ 1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
∙ 1 inch turmeric root, peeled and minced
∙ 1 cup peeled and sliced burdock root, optional
∙ 1 cup cilantro or parsley, loosely packed
∙ 6 garlic cloves, peeled
∙12 cups water
How to prepare it
▻Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot.
▻Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour until the ingredients are cooked (but not longer than 4 hours).
▻You can consume the soup as such, you can strain it and consume only the liquid, or you can blend the broth with the vegetables for a more consistent cream soup.
✤ Herb-Battered Root Veggie Fries ✤
Who said fries can’t be healthy too? In order to get delicious veggie fries that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, try this trick: use boiled vegetables and pat them dry. Coat them generously with herbs and garlic and bake them in the over until they turn crispy.
∙ 3 pounds root vegetables (mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and celery root)
∙ 2 tablespoons coconut oil
∙ 1 teaspoon sea salt
∙ 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
∙ 1 tablespoon each finely minced sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme
How to prepare it?
▻Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel and slice the root vegetables into sticks the size of a French fry. Transfer the vegetables to a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil the fries for 5 to 7 minutes, until just cooked through but not soft.
▻Drain the water and pat the vegetables dry. Add the coconut oil, sea salt, garlic, and herbs to the fries and stir briefly. Cover the pot and shake vigorously until the fries are well mixed with their edges slightly mashed.
▻Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the fries on the tray so none are overlapping. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove when the edges turn golden and crispy.
Serve and enjoy!