Wellness Wednesday: Rooting for Root Vegetables 

Hannaford dietician Mary Lavanway talks about rooting for root veggies for Wellness Wednesday.


Beet and Walnut Salad
Servings: 4 (1 cup each)
4 (2″-3″ dia.) beets, unpeeled, scrubbed, all but an inch of tops removed, or 1 (8.25 oz.) can Hannaford® Sliced Beets,
drained and cut into strips
1 tablespoon olive oil (if using fresh beets)
1 package Fresh Express® 50/50 Mix®
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
2 tablespoons McCormick® Minced Onions
Wish-Bone® Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, to taste
1/2 cup Taste of Inspirations® Crumbled Goat Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss fresh beets with 1 tablespoon oil in 11 x 7-inch metal baking pan.
Roast beets until tender, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
2. Cool beets; peel and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
Or if using canned beets, drain and cut into strips.
3. Mix greens, walnuts, minced onions and dressing in large bowl; toss. Divide among plates.
Arrange beets around greens; sprinkle with goat cheese and enjoy.
Source: Recipe adapted from
Let’s Root for Root Vegetables!
Did you know root vegetables were an essential part of the diet during the early evolution
of humankind, about 5 million years ago? In the less distant past, American colonists
depended on root vegetables because they could be stored for months in the harsh
New England winters.

Unfortunately, root vegetables have fallen out of favor for many who see only misshapenlooking
vegetables. These folks are missing out on a wealth of taste, color, and nutrients
– especially vitamin C, potassium and fiber!

There’s more to root for than just carrots and potatoes.

Roasting Root Vegetables
When roasted, most root vegetables, like carrots, rutabagas and parsnips,
develop a sweet, caramel flavor.
1. Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Wash vegetables and cut in large serving-size pieces.
3. Rub with canola oil and bake, uncovered, in 450˚ oven until tender and the skins are caramelcolored,
20 to 30 minutes, depending upon size of vegetable. Season with salt, pepper and
herbs if desired.
Based on “Root Vegetables 101” by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parsnips look like a pale carrot and are actually a relative of the
carrot, celeriac, and parsley root. Select medium-sized roots with
uniform creamy-beige skin. Store parsnips unwashed, wrapped
in paper towel, placed in plastic in the vegetable crisper of the
refrigerator for about 2 weeks. For a sweet flavor, add them to
stews and casseroles.
This root vegetable, like its turnip cousin, has two parts: the
edible root and the edible green leaves. These roots come in all
shapes, sizes, and colors, so try a variety to find your favorite.
Young beets, about an inch-and-a-half in diameter are finetextured,
tender and excellent in salads. Medium and large beets
are good for cooking. Whichever size of beets you choose, look
for smooth, hard, uniformly round beets that are free of cuts and
bruises. It’s best to store beets that have their tops chopped off
in individual plastic bags in the coolest part of the refrigerator.
These should last up to one week. The greens should be eaten as
soon as possible.
This root vegetable has been found all over Europe and Asia
for centuries. A turnip looks larger than a radish but smaller
than a rutabaga. Turnips come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Select smooth-surfaced roots that are firm and heavy with some
root hairs at the bottom. In general, the smaller the turnip, the
sweeter the taste. Turnips keep well: cut the greens and bag them
separately from the root, placing them in the crisper section of
the refrigerator for up to a week. Turnips can be peeled before
cooking, eaten raw, or sliced, diced or julienned. When cooking
this delicate root, cook only to the just-tender point; avoid
overcooking, as sweetness will diminish.

A cousin to the turnip, a rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage
and a turnip. People have avoided this root because it is a
cruciferous vegetable that becomes more flavored and odorous
when cooked. These roots range from tan to violet in color and
are much larger than turnips. Choose smooth, heavy and firm
roots. Smaller rutabagas, 4″ in diameter, tend to have a sweeter
flavor. This root stores for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator or
at room temperature for a week. Rutabagas are usually covered
in wax, so, before cooking, it’s best to quarter the root, then peel
the skin.