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What's in Season: Root Vegetables

Root-Veggies

With our second snowstorm of the season upon us, rain boots, slippery sidewalks, wool layers and constant hat hair have become part of our daily routine. This time of the year, hibernating indoors with our Netflix queue and a warm cup of tea constitutes the majority of our social lives - which is just fine with us!

For us healthy meal enthusiasts, the best part of staying in is cooking at home and experimenting with local foods. While we often crave hearty cold weather stews and chili, we try to mix up our diets by incorporating nutrient rich winter vegetables to keep us energized and healthy during flu and cold season.

While we won’t be seeing any local tomato and arugula salads till the weather turns (a lot!) warmer, there are plenty of exciting winter vegetables that are accessible in the northeast right now! According to GrowNYC’s informative chart, parsnips, winter squash, beets, apples and pears are all available at yourlocal farmers market this February.

We've shared some of our favorite winter veggie recipes and combinations so you can add some pizzazz to winter cooking and perhaps even discover a new fondness for celery root!

Winter Squash

Full of omega 3s and beta-carotene, this winter staple comes in 50 shades of orange and is sure to brighten any dish. If you have had enough butternut squash soup to last a lifetime, mix things up by roasting and filling acorn squash with quinoa or couscous, or use spaghetti squash in place of pasta with your favorite tomato sauce.

Parsnips And Apples

Parsnips may look like white carrots, but they've got a mildly sweet and earthy taste that’s distinctly their own. Make a tasty alternative to mashed potatoes by peeling and cutting parsnips and apples into quarter size pieces. Boil till tender, then pulse with a hand blender or food processor until smooth. Season with herbs and butter and voilà! - you have an exciting side dish rich in potassium and vitamin c that you can add to any roasted or grilled protein.

Turnips

Add this mild root vegetable to a chili or soup for great texture and a healthy dose of fiber and vitamin c, or substitute turnips for potatoes in a hearty gratin recipe.

Apple, Carrot And Beet Slaw

Folate-full beets do wonders to spruce up your mind, body and dinner plate. Use a peeler or grater to shave strands of these beautifully colored vegetables into a delicious winter salad. Combine carrots, apples or pears; season with olive oil and your favorite vinegar for a lovely slaw. Leave in the fridge overnight for a colorful pickled topping.

Celeriac

Sure, these edible roots of the celery plant may look a little alien-like, but don't let that stop you from exploring this nutty and flavorful vegetable! Highlighted in the menus of top NYC restaurants, this magnesium, potassium and fiber-filled vegetable makes an incredible pureed soup or addition to a roast vegetable dish.

However you choose to incorporate root vegetables into your diet this winter, you'll be glad to know that these easily found and nutrient-rich varieties are usually light on your wallet too. And unlike perishable spring or summer produce, winter veggies are durable and can be stored for up to several weeks without refrigeration. We hope the next time you're snowed in, you'll ditch those tried-and-true potatoes for a more exotic root vegetable cousin. You've got all winter to cozy up to these new foods and recipes!

Happy Exploring!

 

Dina Magaril

Head Of Communications

 

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