Delightfully Healthy! Radical Roots

Tasting Friday 12/2, 4:30-6pm

sweet-potato-molokai-purple-pl115-webPurple Sweet Potatoes

by Ashley Robarge

Move over traditional sweet potatoes, the next time your recipe calls for these delicious tubers grab a few pounds of purple sweet potatoes instead. They have the same flavor and texture of their orange counterpart, however, the skin and flesh are an attractive shade of amethyst purple which is sure to add beauty to even the most mundane potato dishes. This unique deep purple shade is obtained from a powerful phytochemical called anthocyanin.  Phytochemicals such as anthocyanin are known for their potent antioxidant properties such as their ability to scavenge free radicals.  Diets rich in phytochemicals like anthocyanin can reduce risks of developing chronic diseases as you age. That’s not all, these little spuds are also a great source of vitamin A, serving up 283 percent of your daily value in the form of beta carotene and this is great news for our eyes since Vitamin A is important to our vision.

If you want to try something new the recipe below adapted from 80twenty is sure to make purple sweet potatoes a household favorite. The recipe below is simple with purple sweet potatoes topped with peanuts, minced onion, cilantro and a sweet yet slightly spicy Thai curry peanut sauce. Sounds delicious right? Guess what it’s also vegan, dairy and gluten free!

Purple Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts

Phytochemical anthocyanin: An antioxidant that reduces the risk of chronic diseases

Vitamin A: Vitamin important to eye health

Parsnips

by Kristina Cooke

Slightly sweeter and more nutty than carrots and not quite like a potato; parsnips boast a uniqueness of their own. Parsnips can be eaten raw, but are most often cooked. These pale white root vegetables have a starchiness that lends well to soups, as they thicken the broth and add flavor. Just like carrots, parsnips can be used to add new varieties of flavors and textures to desserts. Mashed parsnips can be made in lieu of your typical mashed potatoes. Additionally, they can be baked like fries. Try switching out your potato fries for the crunchy herb-baked parsnip fries in the recipe below! Rich in vitamin C to aid in wound healing, folate for healthy nerve function, and manganese for blood sugar regulation, parsnips are the ideal vegetable to add to your plate this coming winter.

Parsnips Nutrition Facts:

Vitamin C: to heal wounds and help absorb iron in the body.

Folate: to help convert food to energy and aiding in nerve function.

Manganese: for healthy bones and to help regulate blood sugar.

 

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Red Curry Peanut Sauce

Adapted from 80twenty.com

Ingredients:

6 Sweet potatoes
¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped coarse
¼ cup peanuts crushed (I use a mortar and pestle)

Red Curry Sauce: Ingredients

1 cup canned light coconut milk
1 ½ tablespoon red curry paste (I add up to two)
2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
½ tablespoon rice vinegar
A pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees
  2. Clean the potatoes well and pierce the skin in a few places
  3. Place on baking sheet, spray with olive oil and allow to bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Once potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle slit down the center and mash the inside with a fork a little bit
  5. Pour a bit of the curry sauce (below) into each potato
  6. Top with onion, scallions, cilantro and peanuts
  7. For the sauce, combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly

Herb-baked Parsnip Fries

Ingredients:

-2 parsnips, peeled and cut like fries
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp paprika
-½ tsp thyme
-2 TBSP olive oil

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 450.
  2. In a large bowl, place parsnips, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss with hands until parsnips are fully coated.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and spread the parsnips evenly.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and tender.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce!
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