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A Harvest of Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are underground parts of vegetables that are edible, namely the roots of plants. Many root vegetables are nutritionally rich and high in vitamin C, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Root vegetable usage need not be limited to only the roots. Many plants such as turnips and celery are used for their roots as well as their stalks and greens. What root vegetables do you eat?

List of Root Vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Kohlrabi
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Yam/sweet potato

4 Ways to Use Root Vegetables

1. Roasted Root Veggies

  • Roasting brings out the essential sweetness in root vegetables and creates a crispy brown exterior.
  • How-To: Scrub vegetables clean. Leave the skin on for more fiber or peel instead. Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil to coat lightly and evenly. Put veggies in a shallow roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, ground black pepper, chopped herbs or spices to taste. Roast in hot oven (375 to 425 degrees) until vegetables are tender and browned, about 30 minutes.

2. Mashed Root Veggies

  • Mashed potatoes are well-known. However, other root vegetables like parsnips, turnips and celery root are also delicious mashed - either on their own or with the more traditional potato.

3. Root Veggie Chips

  • Plain potato chips will seem boring when you try sweet potato chips, parsnip chips, taro chips or carrot chips.
  • How-To: Cut root veggies into ¼-inch slices. If you have the equipment, the fine-slicing blade of a food processor or a mandoline is a great tool for cutting thin slices. Toss with olive oil and spices. Arrange in a single layer on a baking rack or greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375- to 400-degree oven for 40-60 minutes, turning two to three times, or until veggies are crisp and browned.

4. Root Veggie Soup

Root vegetables add flavor, nutrition and bulk to soups and stews. When cut into bite-size pieces, most root vegetables take about 20 minutes to become tender when boiled, so add them toward the end of cooking time to avoid mushy vegetables - or shred them on a large-holed grater to have them blend in a bit. Root vegetables also make great bases for smooth soups. Just cook until tender, puree and add them to your favorite creamy soups.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Serves 12 (about 1/2 cup each).

All you need:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup Hy-Vee Select 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp Hy-Vee lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.
  3. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Just before serving, reheat at 350°F until hot, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 92 calories, 2g fat, 1g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 119mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g protein. 

Daily values: 223% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C.

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

Reduce Food Waste

Leftovers are a great way to use foods in your fridge that otherwise would go to waste. Try to plan one meal per week that involves leftovers.

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