Colorful Holiday Root Vegetables

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Aside from carrots, most root vegetables don’t get the nutritional respect they deserve. Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States. But many people forget about the other roots. It’s a shame! Roots are low in cost and keep for a long time. They have important nutrients. And roots are tasty in a variety of dishes.

  1. Carrots

Most people think of the bright orange version of this root vegetable. But carrots also come in purple, white, red and yellow! Raw carrots are delicious and crunchy. You can eat them whole or grate them into salads. Carrots are great in soups. They also add nutrition, color and sweetness to desserts. Try them in muffins, bread and cakes.

  1. Beets

Beets also come in multiple colors – purple, gold and white. Small beets are usually the sweetest and most tender. Beet greens are perfect for salads, stir-fries and soups. You can store beet roots in the fridge for up to three weeks. They can be steamed in the microwave, roasted in oven or grilled outdoors (in thick slices or on a kebob stick).

  1. Sweet potatoes

Looking for a vegetable that is nutritious, delicious, and versatile? Give sweet potatoes a shot. They are a best buy in any produce department. Peel them first, and then substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes in almost any dish. Sweet potatoes can be baked, mashed, roasted or boiled. You can chop them for salad. You can also slice them, toss with a bit of oil and bake for sweet potato fries.

  1. Turnips and rutabagas

These roots are from the same family. Rutabagas are usually larger and sweeter. Turnips come in many shapes and colors. They can be round or cylindrical, and rose, black or white. You can cook these roots like potatoes. Try baked, boiled, roasted and mashed. You also can grate them like cabbage into slaw or stir-fry them with more colorful veggies.

  1. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a lesser known root vegetable. It comes from the same family as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Kohlrabi tastes like a delicious, crunchy cross between a cucumber and mild broccoli. Look for purple or green kohlrabi bulbs. Both have white inner flesh. You can eat the flesh raw or cook it. Don’t throw away the leaves! You can use them like you would beet greens.

Try this oven roasted vegetable recipe to get started on a holiday full of color and health.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

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Photo of Cathy Hohenstein, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionCathy Hohenstein, RDExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences (828) 255-5522 (Office) cathy_hohenstein@ncsu.eduBuncombe County, North Carolina
Updated on Dec 7, 2017
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