i root for root vegetables!

autumn is the time of year where i feel like i want to go into hybernation. stay in on the weekends in cozy socks in front of the fireplace cuddled up with my favorite book. about the time i want to go into hybernation is when root vegetables come out of their hybernation. after dreaming sweet dreams deep in the damp dark earth, they make their shining debut, uprooting from the ground full of beautiful colors, diverse shapes and delicious flavors. the thing that really gets me about root vegetables is their mysterious ways. they lure you in with their green stalks and leaves peeking out from the surface and if that’s not enough they surprise you with their hidden parts of themselves. it’s a bit like when you first start dating someone. you only see the surface and are taken by the outer appearance and when that person begins to reveal more about themselves you fall deeper and deeper in love with them and you hope that they continue to reveal themselves, layer by layer as time goes on and the outer appearance becomes a lot less significant than what’s on the inside. that’s how i feel about root vegetables…oh and my husband. you can read more about that here.

i’ve been dreaming about this recipe since i returned from my yoga therapy training. you can read more about that here. when my teacher aadil spoke about baking a variety of root vegetables together, my mouth began to water and i could picture the colors in my mind.

i was at my local organic store the other day and i could hear the team of root vegetables calling to me. saying “pick me, pick me”.  i didn’t stand a chance against them so i brought them home.

the captains of the team, red and orange beet were a no brainer.

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the orange beet is known as the golden beet, no wonder it’s the captain of the team. the red beet, also known as beet root is full of delicious goodness and get this…they’re both packed with healthy benefits. i just love beets.

here’s why you should love beets too

  • they’re packed with nutrients
  • high in fiber to support healthy digestion
  • they’re potassium rich which could lower risk of high blood pressure
  • they’re a great source of calcium which supports healthy bones and teeth
  • beets are thought to support healthy hormonal balance
  • beets are also thought to support a healthy nervous system

now after i chose the team captains the rest of the team members just seemed to fall into place. next on the roster, the parsnip. parsnips are interesting characters. they look like white carrots but taste more like a turnip. these root veggies are also packed full of health benefits. i love parsnips.

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here’s why you should love parsnips too.

  • they’re packed with folate and potassium which support healthy heart function
  • they’re loaded with vitamin e and c
  • vitamin c supports a healthy immune system and aides against illness, including cancer
  • vitamin e supports healthy connective tissue in the body
  • they’re rich in vitamin k and manganese which support healthy bones and teeth

last but certainly not least for the root vegetable family is sweet potatoes. i see why they get their name. they are sweet, charming and packed with good stuff for your health. i love sweet potatoes.

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here’s why you should love them too.

  • they’re antioxidant rich – supporting a healthy immune system
  • they’re a natural anti-inflammatory due to their richness in beta-carotene
  • they’re thought to improve blood sugar regulation to aide against diabetes

now. if this list of health benefits isn’t enough. i learned in my yoga therapy training that root vegetables (cooked) are one of the best things to eat to support a healthy spine as well healthy bones and joints. those of us with issues in our spines, joints or bones should be getting a good dose of root vegetables in our diet on the regular. food truly is medicine. we spend so much time and money on buying health bars, health drinks, health shakes when the nutrients, protein and health benefits we desire is in real food that grows from the soil and comes from life, which in turn breathes life into our bodies.

this team wouldn’t be the same without parsley – cousin to carrots and garlic, the wonder player.

now it’s my opinion that parsley is the greatest thing since…well parsley. it is so much more than just a garnish.

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i love the aroma of parsley. i could sniff it all day. it also adds a great essence of flavor to any dish. i love parsley for so many reasons.

here’s why you should love parsley too.

  • parsley is thought to inhibit tumor growth, thus reducing risk of cancer
  • rich in anti-oxidants
  • excellent source of vitamin c and vitamin a
  • helps protect against rheumatoid arthritis
  • good source of folic acid which support heart health

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last but certainly not least is our friend garlic. there is just too much to say about garlic and it’s amazing benefits. you can read about them here. we should all get a little more garlic in our lives. it gets such a bad rap because its smell is so strong. here’s a hint. if you eat garlic, make sure your significant other does too. this way you won’t mind a little smooch and you’ll both live out long and healthy lives together!

so put these players all together and what do you get?

roasted root vegetables with coconut quinoa

here’s how the recipe goes

2 yellow beets

2 red beets

2 parsnips

2 sweet potatoes

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup parsley

olive oil

himalayan sea salt

*quinoa is optional but highly recommended

* coconut oil if you’re adding quinoa

chop root vegetables into quarter pieces or halves depending on the size

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peel garlic cloves and pluck parsley from stems

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mix everything together in a roasting pan and add a generous amount of olive oil and pink himalayan sea salt.

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pink himalayan sea salt. it’s the most amazing thing. great for your health. whatever you do, never, never use regular table salt. it is just simply not good for your health. it’s not real food. only real food is medicine…

you can read ore about himalayan sea salt here.

preheat oven to 350 degrees

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bake for approximately 45 minutes but check occasionally to see if vegetables are cooked through.

i have a confession to make. i started this blog for several reasons but one of the main reasons was to take more time to love my food. to take more time to be in the kitchen. to take more time. when we slow down and spend time preparing our food with love, with intention, with connection, we experience healthy eating in a completely different way. healthy eating is not just about what we put in our bodies but how we put it in our bodies. when i prepared this meal, i enjoyed every moment and felt fully present. i wish i could have bottled up the smell of this dish baking in the oven, it was truly incredible smelling and filled me up with feelings of joy and wellness. when i shared it with my family i shared the love i put into it and they received that love in their bodies.

add this dish to a bowl of organic quinoa with coconut oil. it’s the perfect match! i eat a gluten free diet so quinoa is a great option and it’s also rich in protein and other health benefits! more about quinoa and coconut oil and why i chose to go gluten free in a later post.

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eat. take time. slow down. relish. move through life with intention. prepare your food with love. share your love with the ones you love. love good food and it will love you back.

much love, Shawnee

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