Winter us synonymous with root vegetables, and there are all sorts of purples, yellows, and whites in the market right now. Unfortunately, most of us seem to think that root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and beetroots are carb-heavy or sugar-heavy foods. This is not entirely true.
While most of these vegetables have a slightly higher level of starch in them, they are still not all-bad starch; carrots, for instance, also have a great amount of fibre as do sweet potatoes, which are a rich source of antibiotics, and contrary to popular perception, are actually diabetic-friendly. Regular potatoes aren’t all bad, either; they step into the forbidden food category when we turn them into fries or mash loaded with cream and butter! If you can include a small portion of any of these in a meal, you will actually benefit from their virtues and will not have to worry about breaking any new year resolutions!
Here are five root vegetable ideas you must try cooking with this season.
Steaming root vegetables is a simple and flavoursome way to enjoy them. Simply wash and steam the root vegetables in large chunks or even whole. These can then be eaten on their own (steamed sweet potatoes with a drizzle of ghee are divine!) as a mid-day snack or alongside a meal.
Baked Wedges or Chips
Look up our recipe for the Baked Wedges we made this month; it is a versatile recipe that can be used for any root vegetable including taro, beetroot, and carrot.
Undhiyu and Avial
Try your hand at some traditional recipes this season. A Gujarati Undhiyu uses the gorgeous purple yam, elephant foot yam, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes together! Or a light Avial, which can use yams and carrots among other colourful vegetables. These can often be enjoyed on their own or with a millet bread or indigenous variety of rice.
Pestos and Chutneys
The tops of carrots, leaves of sweet potatoes and beetroots are all edible. They taste great in Pestos or Chutneys. To make a pesto, simply blend them with a nut of choice (cashew, almond, pine nuts, etc.), a herb of choice if liked, some olive oil and a good squeeze of lime. You can also make a chutney by pounding fresh white or red radish with chilies and peanuts for a variation!
If eating a bowl of salad for dinner is one of your New Year resolutions, try adding some roasted, stir fried or steamed root vegetables to your bowl. These will provide your body with energy and keep you filling satisfied without piling on the calories. Pair them with a few additional greens and a tangy dressing. Steamed baby potatoes work very well with dill and red onions in a lime-based vinaigrette, for instance!