When choosing starchy foods to round out a meal, it’s easy to go for the same old staples: potatoes, rice, corn, and pasta. Mixing it up can add some new flavors to your life, in addition to a powerful punch of nutrients that aren’t in your every day starches.
Consider celery root, Jerusalem artichoke (or sunchoke), Japanese sweet potatoes, and yams.
You’d be surprised at the amount of flavor – and healthy nutrients – you can find in these gnarly roots. Sweet potatoes and yams yield about 90% of your daily needs for beta carotene, while also providing a long list of important minerals (potassium, magnesium, and manganese, to name a few). Celery root, also high in potassium, has far fewer carbohydrates than your average starchy food, but just as much flavor and zing. (You might also consider using celery root for a delicious creamy soup, a recipe for another post…next week perhaps?!) Jerusalem artichoke is also light on the carbs and heavy on the flavor. Each of these foods has a pretty decent antioxidant profile, and they all go great together as a side for any dish.
**It doesn’t hurt to add some carrots and maybe a beet or two for good measure if you like those roots too. They just take a bit less time to cook, so throw them in about halfway through to avoid burning them.**
Ingredients (serves 4 or 2 with leftovers):
- 1 celery root, washed, peeled, diced
- 4 jerusalem artichokes, washed, chopped
- 1 japanese sweet potato, washed, chopped
- 1 yam, washed, chopped
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (optional)
- Sea Salt
- Garlic (fresh pressed or dried powder)
- 1 small or medium onion (red or yellow), peeled and chopped
- Cayenne (sprinkle to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Spread all of the veggies out onto a large baking sheet
- Melt about 1.5 tbs of coconut oil in a saucepan and drizzle
- Sprinkle salt and garlic
- Using a spatula, shuffle ingredients on the cookie sheet until oil is evenly distributed and all roots are flat on the sheet
- Roast at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes in a convection oven and 25 to 30 in a regular oven
- They’re done with they’re crispy on the outside and soft in the middle
- Drizzle about 1 tbs olive oil over cooked roots (Don’t drown them. If you have an oil mister, even better. You just want the flavor.)
- Sprinkle cayenne to taste
- Have at it!