Time to get back to your roots. No, not your heritage…unless your ancestors farmed rutabagas. This time we’re talking about root vegetables and how to make them a featured player in your family’s regular menu.
Carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic are root vegetables we’re all familiar with and use all the time. It’s easy to forget about some of the other guys. Picky eaters may turn their noses up at turnips, radishes can be too hot to handle and beets are an acquired taste.
But we found bloggers out there with recipes you won’t be able to resist trying.
Root vegetables have lots of health benefits, which vary depending on what root you’re talking about. Some, like turnips, provide Vitamin C and help you absorb iron. Sweet potatoes have antioxidant properties and plenty of B-vitamins. Beet juice can help your body use oxygen, which may help improve your endurance.
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of root vegetables, here are a few resources:
Now, let’s take a look at those recipes!
1. Baked Beet Chips
A lot of people hate the taste of beets. That includes Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen, and she wrote the post featuring this recipe.
However, Adrianna loves beet chips – which are undoubtedly better for you than a bag of greasy potato chips. She especially likes a brand she buys at World Market. But she discovered that making your own is fairly easy and much more affordable.
The ingredients are simple: thinly sliced beets, olive oil and sea salt. Toss the sliced beets in oil, season them and bake them at 350-degrees. One of the tips Adrianna provides is to place a second baking sheet on top of your beets while they’re in the oven. This helps keep them nice and flat.
- Get the complete recipe for Baked Beet Chips
2. Root Vegetable Hash Browns With Fresh Turmeric Sauce & Fried Eggs
There are a lot of root vegetables that provide better nourishment than your typical white potato. This recipe makes use of a bunch of options and adds the spice turmeric to the mix as well. And technically, turmeric is also a root. It’s all to make the most colorful plate of hash browns you’ve ever eaten.
Viviane, from FoodandStyle.com used fresh turmeric for this recipe. You can also use ground turmeric powder. Look for fresh stuff at an Indian or Asian food store near your home. This recipe calls for baby red potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, shallots, vidalia onion and parsnip (you can substitute turnips or celery root).
Viviane’s root vegetable hash browns are one recipe. Then you’ll use those to make the complete meal including the fried egg and turmeric sauce.
- Get the complete recipe at FoodandStyle.com
3. Carrot Ginger Soup
Here’s an excellent autumn soup to warm your tummy and give you all the health benefits of nutrient-packed carrots and ginger.
This recipe actually comes from actress Ali Larter, the star of the original TV show Heroes and the films Varsity Blues and Legally Blonde, among others. Ali Larter also wrote a cookbook called Kitchen Revelry. We found this particular recipe from her book at SplendidTable.org.
This soup is a great reminder that simple dishes can taste incredible. Along with the carrot and ginger, you’ll also use ingredients like coconut milk, orange juice, white onion and lemon juice to make an extremely flavorful soup.
- Get the complete recipe for Carrot Ginger Soup
4. Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables
Get a bunch of root vegetables into one dish with this recipe from the aptly named blog The Roasted Root.
It actually took awhile for Julia, the sites’ owner, to get a roasted root recipe up on her website. But once she did, she made sure to profess her love for this type of food and its versatility.
“You can banana bread them; you can muffin them; you can pie them; you can cake them. If there’s a vegetable variety you should do, do roots.”
Julia calls this an ideal holiday season side dish. She also explains that roasting root vegetables is a smart idea because it’s perhaps the best way to bring out their flavor. It may even be the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies.
- Get the complete recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables
5. Creamy, Smoky Whipped Rutabaga
The name of this recipe might throw you off. But once you taste it, you may forget all about your love for mashed potatoes and butter.
Faith Durand does a great job selling us all on the benefits of cooking with rutabagas. They look weird to Americans, but they’re much more of a staple over in Europe where they are actually called swedes. Faith describes this stuff as “creamy, smoky heaven in a dish.”
And it is a bit more decadent than other dishes on this list. The recipe calls for cream cheese, whole milk and butter. So it’s easy to see how you end up with something creamy. But the rutabaga flavor is very important too. Here’s how Faith describes that…
“In my mind, the rutabaga is like a richer, sweeter potato — you can whip it creamy like potatoes, but it has a silkier texture and a warmer color and flavor (thanks to a bit of beta carotene).”
This just might be the newest hit at your family’s Thanksgiving feast!
- Get the complete recipe for Creamy, Smoky, Whipped Rutabaga
6. Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Pie
You can even use root vegetables to make dessert. And a super-colorful one at that!
Purple sweet potatoes and yams might be more-readily available at your local farmer’s market or Asian food store than your typical run-of-the-mill grocery store. But if you can find them, here’s a unique way to make the jaws of your dinner guests hit the floor.
This recipe comes to us from The Endless Meal. Food blogger Kristen served this colorful pie during the Easter season. And she explains that she actually used purple yams and not sweet potatoes.
Kristen takes extra steps to make sure this purple pie is both nutritious and delicious – even the crust and whip cream are healthy.
“These extra sweet yams sit on top of a crust made with nothing but healthy, good for you ingredients. I’m a girl who loves her pies with super flaky, buttery crust, but I don’t miss it one bit with this coconut almond crust. And dolloped on top is a vegan whipped cream that (I swear!) I like better than the real thing. It might sound crazy, but it’s true.”
If purple yams are impossible to find, the regular orange kind work just as well – and it will still be colorful!
- Get the complete recipe for Purple Sweet Potato Pie
What Are Your Ideas?
There are lots of different root vegetables and many other ways to prepare them. Some of those roots weren’t even mentioned in this recipe roundup.
So, we want you to help us out! How do you cook with roots? I’d like to hear about some uses for Kohlrabi. As a kid, I grew some in my first-ever garden (with help from Dad). I remember eating slices raw, but how else can you use them?
Chime in and leave a comment below!