In the cold winter months when fresh produce is hard to find, root vegetables are my go-to for an easy, healthy meal. Because they grow underground, they absorb lots of nutrients from the soil, and unlike most vegetables, their season lasts well into the fall and winter. In fact, many root vegetables actually taste sweeter after a few frosts, which convert their starches into sugars.
Carrots, beets, turnips, and parsnips are all delicious when chopped into bite-size pieces, tossed with olive oil and roasted. I usually make a large batch and eat them throughout the week in burritos, with pasta, or cold on salads. Root veggies can also be boiled and tossed with vinaigrette, and are a great addition to soups. Turnips and parsnips can be mashed similarly to potatoes — give it a try, and see if your family can tell the difference.
This month, try our featured recipe, beet hummus. Just as delicious as plain hummus, but extra-healthy — and it’s pink!
Recipe by Gabrielle Sullo
1 medium beet
1 19-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small clove of garlic, minced
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. water or olive oil
Wash beet well, pierce with a fork, wrap in tin foil, and roast in a preheated 400° oven for one hour. Let cool, then remove the skin. Chop beet into small pieces.
Combine chopped beet and all other ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape sides down, and process another minute, until creamy. Add more water or olive oil if you need more liquid to blend. Salt and pepper to taste if need be.
Serve drizzled with olive oil and a light dusting of cumin, and enjoy!
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.