Today’s star veggies will take us back to the roots of good nutrition. “Root vegetables” are simply the roots of plants that grow into the ground from the base of the plant stem. They include potato, sunchoke, yam, beet, carrot, cassava, jicama (also called Mexican turnip, a cousin of the sweet potato), parsnip, radish, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato, yucca, celeriac, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, onion, and shallot.
Funny thing about these humble-looking vegetables: historically they were not considered appetizing enough for noble folk. Only the poor, who would literally dig them out of the ground after other plants were harvested, would eat them. Like most other things previously considered lower class – like sunshine, exercise, drinking plain water, and eating whole grain bread – we’ve come full circle to view them as the ingredients of a healthy lifestyle!
Were those peasants happy? Dunno, but at least they were hardier and stronger than the nobleman in his castle, gorging away on his fatty meats, rich pastries and delicacies.
We now know that root vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins, phytonutrients (the more intense a vegetable’s color is, the more phytonutrients) vitamin C, and complex carbohydrates. Best of all, they have no fat and are low in calories – now we’re talkin’!
Last week, I shared with you my Butternut Squash and Arugula Pizza with Salad recipe and Apple and Cardamom Tart recipe. And now, in honor of our back-to- the-roots theme, I present to you PARSNIP, CELERY ROOT AND CARROT SOUP. It’s a warm, creamy, comforting fall soup – the kind your family will love when they come in from the cold, blustery weather.