What are roots and tubers? Plants that yield in starchy foods, they are mainly used for human consumption as well as animals, and alcohol in fermenting beverages.
Foods in this category may consist of: cassava, taro, sweet potato, potato, arrowroot, yam, beets, carrots, horseradish, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, etc.
What do we get out of these foods? Roots and tubers can reduce the risk of getting cancer, give you Vitamin B, help you absorb more iron, and boost your beta carotene which helps convert antioxidants into Vitamin A.
Cassava: a starch tuber that is sweet and chewy and grows underground like a potato. A cassava has twice the amount of calories as a potato, it is very low in fats and proteins. They contain Vitamin K which helps with the growth of bones. It also holds important minerals including: minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.
How are roots and tubers grown? Almost all roots and tubers grow underground, some are half underground and half outside of the ground. Where others are completely underground, and the rest are above ground. Most of them are dug up or pulled from the ground and then washed before sale.
Carrots: a root vegetable that can come in many colors including, red, purple, yellow, white, and orange which is the most common color for carrot. They are grown in the ground with the green plant above the ground, then pulled up out the the ground in order to harvest them. Carrots are said to reduce cholesterol which can prevent heart attacks an cancers. They are also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, which are all good vitamins for your body.
Recipe for Oven Roasted Root Vegetables: Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash halved, seeded and peeled
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1 bunch medium beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed
1 medium red onion
2 large parsnips, 1 head garlic, cloves separated, and peeled, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper Directions: Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, olive oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper. Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don't steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Prices of these items in the stores: carrots average $1 per pound, sweet potatoes average $2 per pound, a 5 pound bag of Russet Potatoes averages a cost of $2.55 per bag, beets are around $1.70 per pound, a pound of parsnips at Walmart is $2.68, a jar of horseradish can range from $3-$20 depending on the type, the cost of a rutabaga can be anywhere from $1-$2 per pound.
Malanga: starchy tuber that has a nutty taste to it, known as a Latin American food which is why it isn't very familiar to us. Looks like a potato but with hair on the outside and it can have pinkish or yellowish tinted spots on the outside. It is cooked in all the ways that we could cook a potato an dis very similar in style to a potato.
Fun Facts: A man named George Washington Carver, who was a famous scientist, developed 118 products from sweet potatoes. Some of those products include glue for postage stamps and starch for sizing cotton fabrics. On average each carrot contains about three milligrams of beta-caroten which is a good nutrition for your body. Mel Blanc, who was the voice of the cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, did not like carrots. The word potato comes from the Spanish word patata.