Root Vegetables

Edible roots are a commonly neglected bunch, but have recently emerging from the shadows to make their presence definitely known.  They have never inspired love at first sight anyway. Beneath their rough skinned, knotty, and ugly outer cloak, they harbor a wealth of earthy flavors and nutritiens. They are excellent sources of fiber, minerals, vitamins and low calorie energy. It is important to know that not everything that grows below ground is a root vegetable.

Potatoes, jicama, turnips, cassava, kumara, yams, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, manioc, oca, these are just a few of dozens of underground tubers that sustain modern humans, who boil, bake, and fry them for lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast. Tubers are storage organs which preserve the plant in a dormant state through the winter, and give the plant a boost in making new growth in the spring. The tubers come in many shapes and sizes and are an excellent source of nutritiens.

Onions, garlic and shallots are underground bulbs. Each root has its own unique taste and nutritional value, so be daring and expand your taste buds! Roots to know: beet, burdock, carrots, celery root, celeriac, horseradish, daicon radish, parsnips, radishes, parsley root, salsify etc.

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Real Cooking

Cooking & Handling Tips
When cooking beets, leave a one inch stem on them to minimize bleeding.

When baking potatoes always prick skin with a fork to let steam escape. Greasing potatoes before baking will keep the skins soft.

If you want to cut baking time in half for potatoes, just boil them for 15 minutes first .

To prevent grease soaked potatoes, boil them until almost  tender, then add to roast for about 30 to 40 minutes or until brown.

Try to eat garlic as often as passable. Along with its cousins the shallot, onion and leek, garlic has many benefits. Garlic boosts immune function, stimulating white blood cells to stave off infections and destroy cancer cells.

Onions won't cause tears if they are well chilled. Store them in covered containers in the refrigerator.

Use a fork to stir sautéing zucchini, potatoes, carrots etc. Spoons tend to break them.

If you peel carrots under water, they will not stain your fingers.

For crisp carrots, soak them in
cold water with a little sugar before serving.