Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Celebrate the deep, rich flavors of fall by incorporating root vegetables into your autumn meals. These bountiful veggies not only heighten the taste of any dish but also are easy to prepare and highly nutritious.

 Potatoes

Nutrient Highlights: Supply vitamin C, potassium, fiber and magnesium.

Selection Tips: Avoid potatoes that are soft, shriveled or sprouted. Choose firm varieties that have no discoloration, bruises or blemishes.

In the Kitchen: Potatoes are delicious boiled, baked, roasted or mashed. Try roasting potato wedges coated in a mixture of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic and paprika until crisp.

 

Parsnips

Nutrient Highlights: Supply vitamins B6, C, E and K, plus potassium and fiber.

Selection Tips: Choose white parsnips with roots intact – the whiter the flesh the sweeter the taste. Store in a tightly sealed plastic bag and keep refrigerated for one to two weeks.

In the Kitchen: Steam, sauté, grill, roast or mash to enhance the sweet nutty flavor of parsnips. Try sautéing diced parsnips with a little butter and nutmeg for a side dish.

 

Onions

Nutrient Highlights: Supply vitamins B6 and C and prebiotic (gut-nourishing) fiber.

Selection Tips: Whether choosing yellow, red or white onions, select varieties that are heavy and firm. Store for two weeks in a cool, dark place.

In the Kitchen: Onions can transform the taste of sandwiches, salads, casseroles and sautés. To caramelize onions, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and sauté over medium heat with butter until tender and golden brown; about 20 minutes. Use as a burger or sandwich topping, or to make French onion soup.

 

Turnips

Nutrient Highlights: Supply fiber and vitamins B6 and C. Turnip greens supply calcium, vitamins A and K, and folate.

Selection Tips: Choose turnips with intact green tops and avoid those with wrinkled or damaged skins. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for three to five days.

In the Kitchen: Turnips are delicious raw, steamed, stewed or mashed; and don’t forget the greens! Roast turnip greens with apple cider vinegar and add to soups or sauté with garlic.

 

Carrots

Nutrient Highlights: Supply vitamins A, B6 and K, as well as potassium.

Selection Tips: Choose large, deep orange carrots with bright green leafy tops. Cut off the green tops, store in a plastic bag and place away from apples, as storing close can make them both turn bitter.

In the Kitchen: Enjoy raw with hummus, peanut or almond butter or lemon garlic Greek yogurt dip. Carrots can also be added to soups and stews, shredded for sandwiches or in baked goods.
Recipe

Sheet Pan Roasted Root Vegetables

Prep time: 15 minutes
Roast time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk garlic, oil, rosemary and salt; add carrots, potatoes, parsnip and onion; toss to combine. Spread vegetables on prepared pan; roast 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Approximate nutritional values per serving:

200 Calories, 9g Fat (1g Saturated), 0mg Cholesterol, 334mg Sodium, 31g Carbohydrates, 5g Fiber, 3g Protein

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