Root for Roots! Sweet and Earthy, These Veggies Keep You Grounded

Photo by Sara Remington / Stocksy United / 1406054
Photo by Sara Remington / Stocksy United

Vegetables that grow entirely underground, also known as root vegetables, carry a certain mystique about them—along with a wealth of health benefits. All that time spent deep in the soil means root veggies soak up a lot of extra nutrients, including essential vitamins (such as A, C, and K), potassium, and plenty of fiber. As an added bonus, root vegetables are easy to get your grubs on any time of year: While most edible plants can only grow during the warm months, root vegetables can be grown and harvested during the fall and winter months, too—making them an ideal source of fresh nutrients in the cold season. 

But perhaps the biggest thing to love about root vegetables is that they have an inherent sweetness that kids adore. And that means that anytime root veggies like turnips, carrots, radishes, or beets are on the menu, getting kids to eat their veggies becomes less of a struggle. Of note, however, is that raw veggies (even sweeter ones) can still taste harsh and bitter to developing taste buds, so you’ll make things a lot easier on yourself if you go ahead and cook them first. The two easiest ways to do this are by either roasting or mashing: Check out our two recipes below for a simple intro into preparing kid-friendly root veggies!

Tasty Roasted Beets

Ingredients

  • 4 beets, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil olive
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or herbs of your choice)
  • A pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  3. Toss the cubed beets, olive oil, and thyme in a bowl until beets are coated.
  4. Arrange pieces of beet on baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the beets with sea salt.
  6. Roast until the beets are tender (10-20 min).

Parsnip and Carrot Mash

Ingredients

  • 8 parsnips, peeled and cut
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut
  • ¼ cup chives, minced
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into fourths
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the parsnips and carrots into a large pot and cover with salted water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, (15-20 min).
  3. Drain and return vegetables to pot. Turn heat to low, stir in the chives and 3 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Begin to puree mixture using an immersion blender.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and continue to puree until mixture is smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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