The snap of Autumn is in the air, and that means one of my favorite times of the year: the time when lots of lovely root vegetables come into season. Those that have been around during the warmer months can finally be eaten in the ways I like them best: roasted or in soups.
Tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, I love most of them. They add glorious color to a plate and lots of excellent vitamins to the diet. For instance, did you know that the lowly potato is the second best dietary source of potassium after bananas? Carrots are filled with Vitamin A. Garlic, ginseng, burdock and fennel root have all been used through the centuries for various and sundry medical purposes. Most root vegetables are also high in antioxidants. And for vegetarians and vegans, root veggies are a great source of vegetable protein.
Healthy? You betcha! But what I love is the flavor.
Give me a yam, a potato, a carrot, a fennel bulb, a cauliflower, a butternut squash, or a parsnip and I’m one happy camper. Nearly nothing gets made without onions and garlic at Casa Twistie. Ginger is in a lot of foods around here, too. And while I’m not wild about beets on their own, I can find lots of uses for them in small doses livening up other foods.
Roots are also intrinsically soothing. Nothing in the world produces a more comforting soup than root vegetables. When you ask people about their favorite comfort foods, mashed potatoes always rate high on the list.
And of course for those of us of a Scottish background, no Burns night is complete without a hearty helping of neeps and tatties. If you’ve never tried it, do yourself a favor. It’s luscious.
So eat a root vegetable today. Chances are you’ll be glad you did.