Struggle With Root Vegetables? Here's How To Love Them

Despite this warm summery weather, with October upon us we are decidedly headed towards winter here in Central Maine.

Booooo, I hear from the crowds...

And that means bye, bye to most of our favorite garden stuff like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, lettuces, and more.

It also means hello to the hearty fruits of our labors that will carry us on through the fall and winter.

You know what I'm talking about:

The stuff with substance. The stuff that makes up the term “comfort food”.




If you're straight up excited, like me, yay!!!

But, if you struggle with root vegetables, I'm here to help!

Here's how to love them!



Struggle with root vegetables? Here's how to love them

I understand. The “storage crops” also known as root vegetables, winter squash, cabbage, onions, and more just aren't as high profile as fresh ripe tomatoes.

When I first got started eating local foods, I felt the same way. But over the years eating almost all local and garden fresh, I've gotten to LOVE and look forward to the slowing down of winter.

Enjoying a warm cup of soup next to the fire. Mmmmm...

And I realized that, after all, the “fresh” vegetables from the store in the winter from California or beyond just don't have much taste. Do you know what I mean?

So besides the delicious greens I can get practically year round from our Winter CSA shares, I also enjoy the root veggies during the winter in a variety of ways. Here are my three favorite ways:



Loving root veggies way #1: Creamy Soups

Root veggies and other winter veggies like winter squash really shine in a creamy soup. In fact I make them all the time at my house during the winter especially!

The most recent one I made was a cauliflower one...

Here's a link to how to make your own creamy soup in any combination you want!  How To Make A Creamy Veggie Soup That Will Get Compliments Every Time

Here are links to some of my absolute favorite creamy soups with root veggies:

  • We have many really great creamy carrot soup recipes found here.  (Thai Peanut Butter and Cilantro Carrot are two of my favorites!)
  • Creamy parsnip soup recipes are found here.
  • Great options for creamy rutabaga soup recipes are here.



Loving root veggies way #2: Roasted

When in doubt, roast it! That's what my motto is because guess what? Pretty much everything is better roasted. Sweeter and smokier, too.

That's because when you put the veggie into a hot oven, some of the water content is removed, leaving the sugars within to concentrate and become even more delicious!

And that's especially true of root vegetables.  Roasting is one way to make them shine!

Here is a link to a blog post I wrote on roasting veggies! If you've never tried it before, it's highly recommended!  How To Roast It, Why You'll Love It, And Recipes To Do It

Here are links to some of my absolute favorite roasted root veggie recipes:

  • Roasted beets are especially delicious.  Find recipes using roasted beets here.
  • Roasted carrots are so good!  I love them in a medley with other veggies.  Find recipes for roasted carrots here.  (Including my favorite one with mushrooms!)
  • Medleys of roasted root veggies are definitely comfort food.  Check out the Caramelized Roots recipe which includes turnips here.



Loving root veggies way #3: Winter Salads

Root veggies are great additions to salads and can make excellent salads in their own right.

One of my favorite things to eat in the winter is a salad of hearty chopped spinach from the greenhouse topped with leftover roasted root veggie medley and drizzled with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. So good and perfect as a light meal!

Here is a link to a blog post I wrote on winter salads complete with several gems of recipes that our family loves: How To Make A Winter Salad That You'll Actually Love

Here are links to some of my absolute favorite winter salad recipes:

  • Well, my very best favorite root vegetable salad right now is Viv's Beet and Carrot Slaw with Greek Yogurt.  Find that and many other good carrot salads here.
  • Kohlrabi is a storage veggie that is really great in winter salads.  Recipes for using it are found here.
  • Daikon radish (Korean storage radish) is really great in slaw in combo especially with apples.  Find recipes for using it here.



What is your favorite way to use root vegetables? What has helped you overcome root vegetable hesitancy? Please hit reply and let me know!

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