What is it that you think when you see root vegetables laying on the farmers market tables, wrapped in bundles and tied up by their green tops? It’s okay; you can be honest. Hairy? Intimidating? Don’t know where to begin? I agree, some of them look a little frightening, but that doesn’t mean they aren't delicious and good for you. It might not be as simple as chopping greens or slicing tomatoes, but these root vegetables are worth the extra couple minutes in the kitchen to prepare. Why do I bring this up? Even in the Farmstead Ferments kitchen, we take the extra time to peel and chop a variety of delicious root vegetables because they are delicious, healthy and simply wonderful. We love our root crops!
Beets, yams, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, ginger, turmeric, carrots, onions, yucca, garlic, celery, horseradish, daikon, artichokes, radishes, and kohlrabi are all considered root vegetables. Although each root vegetable contains its own set of health benefits, they are all some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world. Because root crops grow underneath the ground, they absorb the most amounts of nutrients from the soil than any other vegetable. They have a high concentration in antioxidants, Vitamins C, B, A, and iron. They are also filled with slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber that help to keep you feeling full and help to regulate your blood sugar and digestive system.
Roots tend to grow best from fall to spring but they really can make it through the whole year. Unlike fruit, you are looking for HARD root vegetables when you do your shopping and don’t be intimidated by the greens, cut them off and steam them up. They are just as great for you as any other green. In fact, sweet potato greens are one of my all-time favorite greens! I won’t spoil the surprise- just try them!
Let me tell you a few fun facts about the roots that we use in our krauts:
Beets- deemed as a superfood, beets are among the healthiest food in the world. They’re full of beta-carotene and betalains, which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. The sweet flavor of beets has been a great contrasting flavor in our ferments and the color is always fun and exciting!
Turnips- moderate in flavor, these roots go great with more bold tasting veggies and dishes. They are great roasted or thrown into something tomato-y and soupy.
Ginger- another powerhouse of a root due to its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Ginger can be used in a number of food dishes and drinks. Primarily used in Asian dishes or in different tea concoctions, you can’t go wrong incorporating this root into a stir-fry.
Lookout for these delicious root vegetables in our Turnip the Beet Kraut, Kimchi, BoknBroc Kraut, Fire Cider Kraut, and our Spicy Napa Kimchi. We love our roots!