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October 4, 2009

Going Back to My Roots

Filed under: Food — Twistie @ 8:30 am

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.



  1. Yum! I have some turnips from my CSA right now. I have a mind to make some neeps and tatties (I swear you are reading my mind half the time), especially because my natural foods coop sells house-made haggis, if you can believe that! Why wait for Burns Night?

    I, too, am a huge fan of the root vegetable, the squash, anything that grows in fall. I had the pleasure of helping my sister harvest several varieties of squash last weekend. It’s a great workout!

    Comment by Alexis — October 4, 2009 @ 9:27 am

  2. If I had a natural foods co-op that sold haggis, I wouldn’t wait for Burns Night, either. I would also eat more haggis.

    Of course, then Mr. Twistie would eat out without me more often, too. He’s not so fond of haggis.

    Comment by Twistie — October 4, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  3. I’ve never had neeps and tatties, but carrots and turnips mashed together are great!

    I also like the fall greens, the ones that need a frost to set their flavor: kale and chard/

    Comment by Kai Jones — October 5, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  4. Fresh beets from my uncle’s garden for dinner. Yum.

    Comment by zanthine — October 6, 2009 @ 4:14 am

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