Get rooted

ROOT VEGETABLES: ESSENTIAL FOODS FROM EARTH

Root vegetables are one of the most universal foods, but they have developed an undeserved bad reputation. They bring to mind farmer’s food, which we tend to think of as heavy and dense, and because of their carbohydrates, even though they are what we call complex carbohydrates, they have been vilified by popular diets, insinuating they are “bad” calories that should be avoided.

We end up avoiding them and seeking comfort in processed foods like white bread, and pasta, which are more deserving of the “bad” label. Why is this the case? No, it’s not because we have no willpower, though most of my clients come in with that belief.

It’s because we naturally want and need comfort foods, and that means starches. Starchy foods calm us, ground us and relax us. It’s natural for our bodies to try to find balance, so when we are stressed and tired, a desire for comfort and relaxation is natural. We must be mindful then of choosing foods that both nourish and nurture us.

ROOTS, TUBERS AND BULBS

Root vegetables include carrots, beets, regular and sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, parsley root and all members of the onion family. Some root vegetables really are roots, while others are tubers and some – like onions – are bulbs. What they all have in common is that they grow in the earth, under the surface of the soil, and become enlarged through absorption of the earth’s nutrients and minerals.

I say it is time we reclaim our relationship with nourishment, get back to our roots and cook foods that feed not only our desire for sweetness, comfort and relaxation, but also our body’s need for good complex carbs that provide us energy.

MAKING ROOTS:

Ingredients

-for 4 servings

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped yellow beets
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped sweet potato
  • 1 cup of quartered small grape tomatoes
  • 8 whole cloves of garlic

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of untoasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground whole black peppercorn
  • 1 pinch of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • optional: 1 tablespoon of dried barberries (can substitute with other tart berries)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and stir well. Put the veggies in a baking dish and pour the dressing over them. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes. Stir the veggies about 25 minutes into the cooking time. Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the baking dish if the veggies seem dry.

You can find more about Nordic Nourishment in ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME MAGAZINE

You can learn more about how to take charge of your health with the online PATH FOR LIFE ONLINE PROGRAM

Also check out the recipe for root-trail-mix.

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