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Nutrition 101: Root for Root Vegetables

October 13, 2017

By Annie, dietetic intern at UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown

Root vegetables are becoming more and more common in recipes, but did you know that they add more than just taste to your dish? 

The most common types of root vegetables are sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, ginger, and onions.

Each root vegetable has its own special properties, but they share many of the same characteristics such as being low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and high in fiber. They have antioxidants, vitamin A, B, C, and iron and the fiber present in the veggies helps to regulate our metabolism and blood sugar during digestion. Research shows that a diet rich in vegetables (and fruit) helps to maintain a healthy weight, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.

The best season to get root veggies is fall through spring, which makes them perfect additions or substitutions to any fall/winter meal. When in season, root veggies have a rich, deep flavor. When picking root vegetables, choose vegetables that are free of bruises and/or gashes. If the vegetable has leaves attached, choose the bunch with bright and firm stems. Once you bring them home, be sure to store them in a cool, dry place to assure that they stay until use.

Root vegetables and can be grilled, roasted, boiled, mashed, braised, etc. There are many opportunities for root vegetable use. So give them a try! Fill your plate full of delicious, nutrient rich, and fiber packed vegetables! We provided an easy recipe for you to try that includes root vegetables.

 
Roasted Root Vegetables
1 pound turnips
1 pound rutabagas
1 pound carrots
1 pound parsnips
3 shallots, halved
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh, chopped rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
8 cloves of garlic
 
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel the turnips, rutabagas, carrots, and parsnips and cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss with shallots, olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Place in a single layer on an 11x17in jellyroll pan. Bake 30 min, stirring halfway (15 minute point). Add garlic; bake for another 45 minutes or until tender (stir every 15 minutes).
 
 
To find out more information on how to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, contact your UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown dietitians at (641) 854-7530 or MT_dietitians@unitypoint.org.
Click here to find out more information about UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown’s Outpatient nutrition services.
 

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