Roasted Root Salads

Friday, November 11, 2016
When you think of root vegetables they make us think of Autumn, don't they? We think of them in our favorite pot roast, stew or soup. The idea of making them into a salad, however, is a new and different idea. That's because we think of roots as hardy, somewhat gnarly and sometimes even bitter. With this idea of exploring the more delicate side of roots I set about testing and creating a new way of enjoying roots--in salads.

There are in reality many different roots we can use from carrots, onions and parsnips to rutabaga, turnip and celeriac to sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, beets and, of course, ginger and garlic. It is fun to imagine all the ways we can prepare and combine these various roots. In the fall we are ready for a change in foods and it seems our palette is searching for a seasonal change to hardier richer flavors. Root vegetables are the perfect way to meet our need for healthy hardier meals without having to be heavy or hefty.

Let's talk about how you prepare Root Vegetables- to peel or not to peel. It depends on the skin. Most of the time if your vegetables are fresh there is not need to peel them, just wash them. There are a few exceptions like the gnarly celeriac root with its thick skin. I always peel it. Ginger is another root where peeling is recommended. And on occasion, with older vegetables there may be parts of a root vegetable that will need peeling or cutting out. The great thing is you can make it easier on yourself by not peeling the skins and cut down on your prep time when making a meal.

The other "trick" for prepping root vegetables for salads is to chop them finely. They are much sweeter in small nuggets. The key is to have a sharp knife to make the chopping easier.

Besides the fact that there is variety and abundance of root vegetables in the fall, are there other reasons we should want to eat them? You bet. They are incredibly good for us. Here are some reasons they are so healthy for us to eat:

  • They grow in the ground and absorb the nutrients and minerals in the earth.
  • As the base of a plant they hold all the nourishment to feed and grow it.
  • They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, Vitamins C, B, A, and iron, helping to cleanse your system.
  • They are also filled with slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber, which make you feel full, and help regulate your blood sugar and digestive system.
  • Roots are excellent for people who are trying to lose weight, or simply stay healthy because they are filling and slow burning so you stay full longer.
  • Adding up all of the nutrient qualities, root vegetables are disease-fighting, immunity and energy-boosting, and are also extremely versatile in cooking. 

Another important part of making sure you enjoy the deliciousness of root vegetables it to make sure you choose the freshest available. To choose the best root vegetables make sure they feel firm and do not have big brown blemishes. If you do end up with one that has a blemish you can always cut it out if the rest of the vegetable is still firm.

How you store your root vegetables is also important for maximizing the best result. Storing them in your refrigerator is not ideal. If you plan to use your roots in a day or two they will be fine but they do soften quickly. The best place to store them is in a cool dry place. I use a basket on the floor in my pantry. They can stay there for a number of days.

During my experimenting I came up with three different root salads. You can find these recipes and their vinaigrettes on the Livliga website in our recipe section. I have also included my simple Root Salad with Fried Egg with this blog to get you inspired to explore all three recipes.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Looking for a way to make cooking, measuring and serving easier? Try out the award-winning LivSpoons!

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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