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Smooth Moves with Roasted Roots

roasted root vegetables

Joyce and I have become big fans of roasted root vegetables, with beets and all their health benefits leading the parade. We’ve become so passionate about this fall/winter favorite that we have adopted this tasty dish as a standard for breakfast with our scrambled eggs. And yes, we even enjoyed this warming dish throughout the summer. Why? It has replaced toast in our breakfast menu which has been beneficial for several reasons and has proven helpful for digestion and elimination. (Be aware that the red pigment of the beets doesn’t change during digestion and can show up in your elimination.)

According to numerous articles easily accessed online (including this one), beets contain nutrients that may help lower blood pressure, fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and support detoxification.

My recipe for roasted roots features beets, rutabaga, yams (aka red garnet yams, sweeter and more water content than sweet potatoes), carrots and shallots (sweet and mild compared to most onions and with a slight hint of garlic).In July in the northeast, rutabagas are not available, so I just increased the carrots and yams as a substitute. I recommend that you buy organic vegetables whenever available to reduce exposure to pesticides.

This is a large batch recipe yielding about 12 moderate servings. The weights per vegetable are rough guidelines.

1 large beet (1.5 – 2lb)
1 large rutabaga (1.5lb)
1 large yam (Red Garnet) (1lb)
3 large carrots (.75 – 1lb)
6 shallots (1lb)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2, 10 x 15” baking trays with walls/rim
Large mixing bowl (4qt if possible, if not use two bowls)
Vegetable peeler and sharp chef’s knife
Cutting board
Oven rack on 1st or 2nd rung from the top

Preheat oven to 410°
Wash the beet. Peeling is optional (If you want to peel it, and avoid staining your hands, use dish gloves. I do.)
Peel the rutabaga and yam.
Wash the carrots.
Peel the shallots.
Cut all veggies into roughly ½” – ¾” pieces. This can vary quite a bit. Carrots may be up to an inch or more
Cut shallots into 4 quarters, leaving root intact.
Put all veggies in large mixing bowl.
Toss with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil until there’s a slight extra pool at the bottom of the bowl.
Spread to create one layer on two baking sheets.
Put baking sheets in oven, rack on 1st or 2nd rung from the top.
Bake for 45 minutes.
This should brown the edges and even char some of the veggies. Reduce time to 35 – 45 minutes if you prefer less browning.
Because oven temps may vary you may need to reduce or increase temp slightly for desired result.
Let veggies cool. Place in storage bowl with lid. Refrigerate. Keeps well for 7 days.