5-Must Eat Root Veggies

You'll find an abundance of fresh, local and cheap root vegetables this time of year in your local grocery store or farmer's market. Root vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and are delicious!
Not to mention economical!

Here are 5 root veggies you should include in your diet:

Beets - Beets are your Liver's best friend. They improve your liver by thinning bile and allowing it to flow through the liver and into the small intestine more freely. Bile breaks down fat and stimulates peristalsis (digestive tract muscle contractions that move food along) it also reduces the risk of forming gallstones. Beets also protect against cancer, Alzheimer's and osteoporosis and neural tube defects in babies.

Carrots - Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that disrupt the structure of other molecules, resulting in damage in the body which than can lead to disease.

Parsnips - Parsnips support your digestive system by promoting healthy bowel movements due to its high fibre count. Parsnips are high in folate which is essential if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding. This B vitamin protects a developing baby from neural tube defects.

Sweet Potatoes -Sweet potatoes contain high levels of anti-oxidants. They are known for lowering blood pressure, promoting a healthy cardiovascular (heart) and integumentary (skin) systems, increasing your stamina, are a great source of potassium and iron and are a slow releasing carbohydrate which keeps you fuller longer.

Squash & Pumpkin- Squash contains high levels of Vitamins C & E, antioxidants that decrease your risk of cancer, cataracts and heart disease. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc (helps reduce hair loss) and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Omega 3 & 6.

Butternut Squash Soup
• 2 medium butternut squash, each cut lengthwise in half, seeds removed
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 medium stalks celery, chopped
• 1 medium cooking onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
• Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
• 3 ½ cups of chicken stock
• 2 cups water
• Roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh chives for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in lined pan, and roast about 45 minutes or until very tender when pierced with knife. Cool until easy to handle, then, with spoon, scoop squash from skins and place in large bowl. Discard skins.
2. Meanwhile, in 5- to 6-quart saucepot, heat oil on medium until hot. Add celery and onion, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cumin, chipotle chili, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cook 30 seconds, stirring.
3. Add broth, water, and squash to saucepot; cover and heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.
4. In batches, ladle squash mixture into blender. With center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend squash mixture until pureed. Pour soup into large bowl. Return all soup to saucepot and heat through. Garnish each serving with pumpkin seeds and chives. Makes 10 1/2 cups.

The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical care when needed. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for disease diagnosis, therapy choice, medicine selection and dosage. 


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