Winter Root Vegetables
There are many types of root vegetables out there that have different nutritional values and tastes. Many people don’t realise just how versatile these can be, and struggle to think of ways to eat them. To give you a help in hand, we’ve narrowed down our 10 favourite root veggies, why we love them, and some ideas on how to use them.
10. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash comes under the winter squash umbrella. It offers a generous supply of vitamin A, potassium and fibre. Not only does it taste great, but it is also a very versatile recipe ingredient. It’s known to be a key component in a number of popular winter soups, but can also simply be baked and enjoyed like you would a jacket potato. Butternut squash is widely considered to be one of the tastiest root veggies, especially in the colder months. The most popular way to enjoy butternut squash is to turn it into a soup, it’s a comforting and tasty root veggie perfect for many different types of recipes...
The most unique thing about beetroot is that it contains a small amount of almost ALL the vitamins and minerals you need, unlike any other vegetable. Well known for its low-calorie count, you will only find 43 calories in 100 grams of beetroot. It’s also known to cleanse the liver; if you use your beets to create beetroot juice, it just might help with that hangover. Otherwise, try adding some cold beetroot to a salad, or in a mixed vegetable soup to bulk it out and add to your daily vitamin intake. The most popular way to enjoy beets has to be pickling them, easy to do at home it’s way better than buying pre-pickled ones. Pickled beets are a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron. Because pickled beets are fermented, they are rich in probiotics too.
Refreshing and tasty, carrots are well known for their bright colour which comes from beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. Not only are carrots high this component, but they also provide a good source of fibre, potassium, and vitamin B6. You may have also heard that carrots can help improve eyesight – well we’re here to tell you that they really do! Yellow carrots contain the most lutein, which can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a condition in which your vision becomes gradually blurred or even lost. Carrots can be enjoyed in so many different ways, they can be honey roasted for to accompany your Sunday roast dinners, they can be enjoyed raw and dipped in hummus, they can be mashed into sewed or even made into a refreshing soup. Carrots are one of the most versatile root veggies, with so many different ways to enjoy them.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Another very tasty root vegetable, sweet potatoes are a popular alternative to normal ones due to their low-calorie count and fat content. Rich in fibre, sweet potatoes also contain an array of vitamins (they are particularly high in vitamin C) and minerals including iron and calcium. Sweet potatoes are great for bone health. A favourite among the little ones is creamy sweet potato mash, or you could try your hand at homemade sweet potato fries for a delicious treat.
Succulent and tasty, parsnips are an excellent source of many different nutrients. High in carbohydrates, fibre and protein these tasty veggies are perfect for your Sunday roast and rich in antioxidants. Cooked parsnips can also provide an easy and effective way to thicken up your homemade soups. They can also be seasoned with honey to be the most succulent side.
Known to aid heart health, onions can help decrease cholesterol levels and reduce high blood pressure. They have a very low calorie-count, are high in vitamin C, and are a good source of dietary fibre. As well as providing a great base-flavour for a huge number of recipes, from cheesy baked onions to French onion soup onions are delicious and nutritious, especially when they are pickled too.
Although not one of the most popular of the root vegetable family, radishes are nutritiously valuable. They are a great source of vitamin C in particular, and radishes can also support a healthy digestive system. They also have virtually no fat or calories, so if you’re looking to add some root veggies into your slimming diet, radish’s would be the choice to go for! The peppery taste of radish can be a great addition to a salad that needs a little flavour. Not only this, but they can also be pickled, enjoyed in tacos, roasted and made into a yummy vegetable soup.
You may not have heard of a celeriac before, but its popularity is increasing due to its versatility. Commonly used as an alternative to potatoes and other root vegetables, celeriac may be the lower calorie alternative all types of potatoes. Simply boiled, smashed, smothered in butter with a little salt, pepper, and your favourite herb, celeriac can be a tasty, filling addition to your meal.
Turnips are known to be loaded with fibre and vitamins K, A, C, E and more. Those looking to add in a few more veggies to your everyday dinners, try cooking up some turnips and adding them in to a variety of meals. Quite a versatile ingredient, turnips can be added to casseroles, soups, bubble and squeak, or even on the side of a salad.
A commonly asked question which you may have heard before is ‘is a potato a root vegetable’? The answer is yes. Potatoes, probably the most popular root vegetable, do not contain any fat, sodium, or cholesterol – and they have more potassium than a banana! You’re probably all too familiar with a wide range of ways to eat potatoes, but for something a little different you could try making potato-based pancakes.
V8 juice contains two veggies from the root family; carrots and beetroot. This means consuming just a glass of juice can help make sure you get a good daily dose of vitamins and minerals to boost your health.