Saturday, November 7, 2009
Fall Foods: Root Vegetables
The fall season is officially upon us. This time of year is marked by crisp, cool days, preparation and celebration, and an abundance of warming, harvest foods. As the temperature drops, our bodies require more concentrated, energy-rich foods like root vegetables, squashes, seeds and nuts. The fall is a great time to experiment with cooking and baking in your kitchen. While we have access to a variety of fresh produce in the spring and summer seasons, we have to plan accordingly for fall and winter. Look around. Appreciate your surroundings. Let the season's rich color palette inspire you and try adding some fall flavors, spices and seasonings into your next meal.
Eating locally grown food in accordance with the seasons helps to keep our bodies in balance and provides a deep connection to Mother Earth.
About Root Vegetables
The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.
Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe
Speaking of root vegetables, this is one of my favorite recipes and you will see after you make, they are SO easy! Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins A & C, iron, carotenoid antioxidants and contain calcium. Among root vegetables, sweet potatoes offer the lowest glycemic index rating, because the sweet potato digests slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so you feel satisfied longer. It's time to move sweet potatoes to the GOOD carbohydrate list!
4 small sweet potatoes
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly oil a half sheet pan. Peel and cut potatoes into 8 wedges. Combine the oil, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on the pan. Place pan on the lower third rack and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and crisp, turning once. Serve hot and enjoy!!!