A few years ago, an acupuncturist told me to eat more root vegetables to help me be more grounded. I'm a fan of acupuncture, but this advice felt like a little much. Eating things from the ground so I'd feel more grounded? A little... literal for my taste.

But I happily followed the suggestion. Root vegetables are delicious, especially this time of year. So why not?

Colder weather can make farm work really tough on the body. Even just standing in the cold of a farmers market can leave me with shivers and sniffles.

So when I get out of the field, or home from market, I throw a whole bunch of root vegetables in the oven. Turning on the oven warms up the kitchen, and the hot, sweet vegetables feel so nourishing.

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Roasted Root Veggies

How to do it

It's super easy to roast root vegetables. The general instructions are:

  1. Cut vegetables into similarly sized pieces
  2. Coat in olive oil, salt, and any herbs you like
  3. Roast in the oven (at 350º or 375º), stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until soft and slightly caramelized
  4. Enjoy
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What to Roast

There are a lot of options for your roasted roots. In fact, not all of them are roots at all.

I usually include:

  • Onion (chopped into large pieces because it cooks fast)
  • Garlic (either individual peeled cloves or a whole head, which should be drizzled with olive oil and wrapped in tin foil to prevent burning)
  • Potatoes (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, or both!)
  • Carrots (cleaned, not peeled)

I sometimes include:

  • Winter squash, like butternut or acorn (OK, this isn't a root vegetable, but acorn squash very compatible with root veggies and can cook in the same time frame)
  • Beets (beets' strong red color can give a pink hue to your entire dish; if this bothers your, roast them separately and add them in after everything is cooked)
  • Fennel
  • Celeriac (celery root)
  • Turnip (keep the greens for other cooking)
  • Parsnip

I add flavor with (one or two of these is plenty; all of them would be too much):

  • Fresh or dried rosemary
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • A couple bay leaves
  • Cumin powder (especially good with winter squash)
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I don't know if roasted root veggies make me more grounded, but they sure taste great, so I'll take any excuse to keep cooking them.