Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Root Winter Vegetables

Root vegetables may not appeal to you on first glance. They’re funny to look at and are not the go-to vegetables for most everyday dishes. However, in these cold winter months, nothing is more satisfying than a delicious root veggie. Our bodies actually crave the delicious taste of these special vegetables, especially when even a small serving is vitamin and mineral-packed. Here’s the low down on some of my favorites.


These lovely veggies look like beautiful white carrots, but they are much stronger in flavor. Unusual as they are to look at, parsnips are a delicious addition to any root vegetable mixture. Raw, fried, boiled or roasted, parsnips are actually very popular in some traditional holiday feasts.


These purple, white and very round veggies are extremely rich in vitamin C. Turnips turn purple where the light has hit them – the insides, however, are white. Turnips “greens,” or the top of the turnip, can be eaten in salads. You can also use the greens in cooked dishes. The older the turnips, the more bitter the greens. The inner part of the turnip resembles a radish in taste and use.


Of course you know carrots, but did you also know they come in variations of color like red, purple, yellow and orange? Carrots are delicious. They are loaded with B-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, and are known to help improve your vision during both the day and night. When my brother was little, he loved carrots so much that he actually turned orange. Luckily he went back to the way he was, but it scared my mom to death in the meantime!

Happy Cooking!