5 Reasons To Give A Hoot About Roots

January 13, 2015

By Anna Varriano

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Apart from carrots, onions and garlic, root vegetables are among the most ignored and under-appreciated vegetables on the grocery store shelf, and that is unfortunate because they are also among the most nutrient-dense.  Examples include: beets, celeriac, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips, daikon, kohlrabi, and yucca (to name just a few!).

Here are five reasons why you should start adding more root vegetables to your meals:

  1. Since they grow underground, root vegetables absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil they are grown in, including nutrients with powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.
  2. Root vegetables are high in fibre, which will help you to feel full, regulate bowel movements, and help to keep your blood sugar balanced.
  3. They are relatively inexpensive, so they are a great way to stretch your grocery budget.
  4. They are extremely versatile and easy to add to your meals. They can be chopped up and added to soups and stews, baked or steamed or boiled and mashed to serve as a side.
  5. While the prime seasons for most root vegetables are fall and winter, their quality is pretty consistent all year long, and most can be kept fresh for a long time by storing them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Some root vegetables are really strange looking and unfamiliar to most of us, such as celeriac or jicima. This week, I encourage you to pick up a root vegetable you’ve never tried before, and Google a recipe for it. Remember that variety is an important part of nutrition (different colours especially!), so expand your root veggie repertoire and reap the health benefits.

Next week, I’ll be sharing a delicious Winter Vegetable Stew loaded with root vegetables. Stay tuned!

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