Root Vegetables: Fall’s Comfort Foods!
Even though we don’t really feel a change of season yet here in Cairo, we are officially in Fall. But we do see a change in produce–which come in the golden yellow and warm orange colors of Fall–root vegetables.
These are some of the season’s healthiest vegetables – providing a great alternative to traditional (sauce-and-cheese) comfort foods! In fact, Fall is an ideal time to add root vegetables to your table.
Why are root vegetables so good for you especially this time of year?
As the weather turns cooler (eventually), our bodies need more warming foods. Root vegetables, which grow abundantly this time of year, have a warming effect on our bodies and help prepare us for winter. In addition, eating seasonally (and locally whenever possible!) helps us stay in harmony with nature. And because root vegetables grow underground, they absorb many of the earth’s nutrients, making them rich in minerals such as iron, as well as packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C, A and B. You’ll love them for the way they are energetically-grounding and help you feel more balanced.
Because these Fall veggies have slow-released carbohydrates and contain natural fiber, they also help us feel full and satisfied longer. That, in turn, regulates our blood sugar, provides sustainable energy and cuts down on our sweet cravings – which could otherwise send us reaching for treats. This powerful combination makes root vegetables a natural pick if you’re looking to feel more grounded, energized, focused and more in control throughout the upcoming cooler months.
Some of my favorite Fall choices are:
o Sweet potatoes
o Celeriac / Celery Root (2ol2as)
And don’t forget the roots that add flavor, improve digestive health and boost longevity: onion and garlic!
How do you choose and store root vegetables? Choose vegetables that feel firm and heavy for their size, with smooth skin. Store them in a cool, dark and slightly humid room or cupboard (if you can). If you must store them in the fridge, place them in a paper bag and store in the crisper drawer.
Also for Fall I love to bring home other yellow-orange vegetables this time of year: pumpkin, butternut squash and yellow and orange peppers, to name a few. Although they are not root vegetables, their color gives them many of the same phytochemical benefits of beta-carotene and bioflavonoids. They are known for:
o Boosting your immune system
o Improving your vision health
o Reducing the risk of cancer and heart attacks
So add these nutrient-rich, energizing, immune-boosting, cancer-fighting, root and colorful vegetables to your Fall table with these easy recipes.
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.