Sweet Winter Root Vegetables

by Amie on January 23, 2009

I must admit these cold, frigid months make me crave sweet veggies…corn, rutabaga, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, turnips, red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock…I could go on forever…and although these are not all root veggies, each has a subtly different sweetness. For instance, corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, and yams are sweet when cooked, while turnips, parsnips and rutabagas have a subtly sweet flavor and red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock do not taste sweet, however, they have a similar effect on the body in that they maintain blood sugar levels, reduce sweet cravings and break down animal foods in the body.

Almost everyone craves sweets. Rather than depending on processed sugar to satisfy cravings, try adding these naturally sweet foods to your meals to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Sweet vegetables sooth our internal organs and energize our mind. And because many of these veggies are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness one may feel after eating different kinds of sweet foods. Adding in sweet veggies helps to ‘crowd out’ less healthy foods in the diet.

(When I refer to the term ‘crowding out’ I am simply suggesting a concept in which you add fruits, veggies, and water to your daily diet instead of taking foods out of your diet. This concept helps my clients stay on track with their healthy eating lifestyle because they are adding in fiber rich foods that are also high in water content which will fill them up faster and satisfy their sweet tooth so that they are less likely to crave and eat unhealthy processed foods later in the day).

A simple way to cook these fabulous veggies is to follow the following recipe:

“Sweet Roots”

  • Use as many of the sweet veggies mentioned above
  • Chop the hardest veggies (carrots and beets) into smaller pieces
  • Softer veggies (onions and cabbage) can be cut into larger chunks
  • Use a medium sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the veggies. Check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. The veggies on the bottom will cook faster than those on the top, therefore stir every few minutes. Cook until desired tenderness. The softer the veggies get—the SWEETER they become!
  • You may wish to add tofu or beans for extra protein
  • Season your veggies with seaweed or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, black pepper from a grinder, white pepper, chili flakes, chili powder, and cayenne
  • When the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired.
  • The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing soothing tonic to drink by itself.
  • Enjoy!
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