Recipe: Nature’s Candy…Roasted Vegetables

This is a guest post by Kelly Harjes, a new, regular contributor to our site. To learn more about Kelly, check out “Our Team” page. And if you’re interested in joining our team and helping us on Our Mission, just contact me here.

Thanks!

Bruce


 

Roasted vegetables are a delicious way to eat more veggies and satisfy your sweet tooth!

Even though Big Food doesn’t push vegetables, we all know they’re good for us. Simply put, eating vegetables can help protect our health. But did you know they can also satisfy our sugar cravings? I’m talking about roasted root vegetables, or what I call “nature’s candy.” Root vegetables are especially great during these winter months when they are inexpensive and easy to find. Oven-roasting root veggies brings out their natural sweetness and makes them easier to digest. They’re a delicious way to not only increase your vegetable intake, but also to satisfy your sweet tooth!

When you’re trying to incorporate more vegetables of any kind into you and your family’s diet, taking the time to prepare them ahead of time will help ensure your success. I’ve found this to be absolutely essential for our busy family of five. In addition to having plenty of leafy greens and fresh-cut raw veggies on hand, I like to make a big batch of roasted roots to have with various meals throughout the week.

Here’s my “Sweet & Simple” technique for Roasted Root Veggies (with a recipe to follow):

  1. Choose your vegetables. Some options include: sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac, garlic, onion and ginger.
  2. Chop into uniform, bite-sized pieces. To save time, but not money, you could buy some of your veggies pre-cut.
  3. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil (about 1 tablespoon per pound of veggies) and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (or two).
  5. Cook at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork-tender and a little bit browned.

Enjoy hot or cold alongside the main dish of your choice. These also make a great vegetable option for school lunches. And if you happen to have any left at the end of the week, you can purée them into a delicious soup.

To keep roasted vegetables interesting week after week:

  • Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. Pictured above is a mix of turnips, gold beets, carrots and parsnips.
  • Add some fresh herbs or spices, such as rosemary, thyme or turmeric.
  • Drizzle some balsamic or apple cider vinegar on top … or for a special occasion, a little pure maple syrup or raw honey.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Roasted Root Vegetables: Nature's Candy
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads & Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9 cups
 
Ingredients:
  • 5 pounds peeled and chopped root vegetables (see notes below)
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Instructions:
  1. Peel and chop vegetables into uniform, bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine vegetables with ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets.
  4. Cook at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork-tender and slightly browned.
  5. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, garnish with fresh rosemary, and enjoy!
Notes:
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

Some root vegetable options include: sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac, garlic, onion and ginger. And while not technically root vegetables, winter squash and brussels sprouts also taste deliciously sweet when oven-roasted.

For another take on roasted veggies, be sure to check out Bruce’s recipe for Roasted Carrots and Broccoli with Cheese.

Kelly Harjes is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of Appetite for Healthy Change™.  Her mission is to inspire others to look and feel their best, feed their families well, and help improve our food system.

Kitchen Tips and Resources from Bruce:

  • A couple heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets are essentials for roasting vegetables. Try to avoid the flimsier varieties since they can bend, twist, and cook less evenly over time. You can buy baking sheets from just about any place that sells quality kitchen bakeware, but here’s a link for them on Amazon and at Williams-Sonoma.
  • A high quality set of cutting knives can make a huge difference, especially when you’re cooking REAL food. My local knife shop advised me to invest in the higher quality Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature brand (much higher quality than the J.A. Henckels International brand) and time has proven them right. (To make sure you know which Henckels knives are better, here’s a tip — look for the “twins” on the knives vs. the single guy sporting the trident.) While you can buy these knives online, if you’ve got a local knife/cutlery store, support them instead. I love my local cutlery store and bring my knives in every six months or so to get them maintained with a nice, sharp edge!
  • A great, non-slip cutting board is an invaluable kitchen asset when cutting up the vegetables. I upgraded to these Epicurean non-slip boards this past summer, and I’ve been really pleased with them.

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9 thoughts on “Recipe: Nature’s Candy…Roasted Vegetables

  1. Wonderful article! Everyone needs this great information about how easy and delicious it is to have roasted vegetables on hand. I tend to scramble them with eggs or heat them up and mix them with my spinach salad.

  2. I love all of your recipes and use them regularly in my menus. My only comment is that on some of the recipes the directions are not so clear on how to use all of the ingredients listed. For example, this recipe for roasted veggies lists balsamic vinegar and chopped rosemary in the ingredient list, but you don’t use it in the directions. I had a similar experience with the delicious Red Velvet Cake- it listed the berry/beet mixture but did not say what to do with it in the directions. Of course most of us do know how to cook so we know how and when to add ingredients, but it may cause confusion for some. So, delicious recipes and maybe just a quick review of the directions before they are posted. Thank you for all your amazing information

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Jennifer. I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes, and we’ll certainly try to do better proofing and reviewing them. Believe it or not, I know Kelly and I both proof our work several times … and then we get each other to review it. Long-term I’m hoping to bring a recipe editor on board to provide yet another set of eyes and also help simplify the recipes as much as possible. Until then, please know we will try to do better! If you do see us slip up or if something is unclear … please contact us or add a comment. We will get it fixed or clarified as quickly as humanly possible!

      Thanks again!

      Bruce

  3. I just started roasting veggies about 2 years ago and have been able to get my kids to eat certain types of veggies they didn’t like before. It really is like candy and makes all the difference in flavor to roast them. I like to roast them on the grill too in the summer.
    Thanks for this article!

  4. Love the idea and love eating root vegetable, but PLEASSE don’t roast olive oil at that temperature! It is actually BAD for your helth to do so. EVOO should only be cooked at or below 325 degree a depending on your take and when the actual smoke point is. Instead try using an oil made for high heat if you are going to roast that high for that long. Refined coc it oil is good for higher heats but still shouldn’t be used over 365 degrees. Animal fats are always the best fats to use when roasting at high temps, but check other online resources go the best high heat oils.

    • Thanks for bringing up this issue, Drew. Cooking with oils can be a complicated issue, and there are lots of different opinions and types of oils, even within the subcategory of olive oils. The main thing you want to avoid when cooking with any oil is the oil smoking, which is the clear warning sign of oxidation. While I have not experienced this issue with the kind of olive oil I use, if your olive oil smokes I would definitely recommend either turning down the temperature and roasting the veggies longer, or using an oil with a higher smoke point, such as clarified butter (ghee). Hope that helps!

  5. Thinking of using this as a side at breakfast instead of potatoes, if I choose the right veggies, the glycemic load should be lower, and tastier!