Root vegetables

Healthy Recipes

Root vegetables are not only delicious and versatile, but they also pack a serious nutritional punch. From carrots and sweet potatoes, these vibrant underground wonders are rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Adding root vegetables to your diet can do wonders for your health, promoting overall well-being and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

One of the key benefits of root vegetables lies in their high fiber content. Fiber aids in digestion, prevents constipation and keeps us feeling fuller for longer periods, aiding in weight management. Additionally, root vegetables are known for their low glycemic index, making them suitable for those with diabetes as they do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

These colorful veggies are also a great source of vitamins A, C and E, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, boosting the immune system and promoting optimal vision. They also provide an array of minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron, which support muscle function, nerve health and oxygen transport throughout the body.

Asian-Style Pork Satay with Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbs peanut or canola oil, divided
  • 2 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs freshly-grated ginger
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1¼ pounds lean pork or beef, cut in 2-inch cubes
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, cut in 2-inch cubes
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 6 tbs crushed unsalted, roasted peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Combine 2 tbs oil, hoisin sauce, vinegar, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl. Pour over pork and toss to coat pork well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with remaining oil.
  3. Drain pork. Thread pork, sweet potatoes and pineapple chunks on wooden skewers.
  4. Brush prepared skewers with marinade. Discard leftover marinade.
  5. Grill for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat, turning, until pork is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.
  6. Top with peanuts.

Tip: Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading them with pork and sweet potatoes so they don’t dry out as fast when grilling.

Recipe adapted from eatright.org.

Baked Potato Crisps Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 large sweet potato (about ½ pound), peeled
  • 2 to 3 red potatoes (about ½ pound), scrubbed with peel on
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Slice the potatoes very thinly (use a food processor or mandolin if you have one).
  4. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet. Spread them out in a single layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the potatoes over. Bake for an additional five to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly crisp and golden brown.

Recipe adapted from eatright.org.

Sweet Potato Latkes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • 2 tbs ground flax seed
  • 4 cups grated sweet potato
  • ¼ cup 100% apple juice (unfiltered is best)
  • 3 tbs white rice flour (or substitute whole-wheat or all purpose flour)
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs sunflower or canola oil

To prepare batter:

  1. Combine boiling water and ground flax seed in a small bowl. Let mixture sit until thickened.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add apple juice, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking powder to the large bowl with the sweet potatoes. Mix well.
  3. Add thickened flax mixture and toss together until mixed well.

To cook latkes:

Bake:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cover two large cookie sheets with silicone parchment paper. You can also spray or coat the cookie sheets with oil instead.
  3. Place ¼ cup batter onto cookie sheet spacing pancakes two inches apart.
  4. Cook until golden on the bottom and crispy on the sides, flip and cook the other side, about 10 minutes per side. Latkes will be crispier if baked on the oil-coated cookie sheets instead of parchment paper.
  5. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter.

Fry:

  1. Add sunflower oil to large skillet or griddle and heat over medium high.
  2. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, add ¼ cup batter to make 3-inch pancakes, leaving enough space to flip them.
  3. Cook three to four minutes until golden brown on the bottom and flip.
  4. If pancakes are cooking too fast or too slowly, adjust heat accordingly. Remove to a parchment-lined platter.

Serve with applesauce. Pancakes can be refrigerated overnight. If layering, use parchment paper in between and seal tightly.

To freeze and reheat: Freeze on cookie tray in a single layer. When frozen (about one hour), store in an airtight container using parchment paper between the layers. Don't defrost to reheat. Arrange in a single layer on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes, or until hot and crisp.

Recipe adapted from eatright.org.

Next steps:

Learn more about Main Line Health's nutrition counseling and weight management services
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