They don’t appear to be much on the surface. In a garden, you might notice the leafy stalks and the grouped green stems coming out of the dirt in chaotic bundles. However, a little pull will quickly reveal that the real magic lies beneath the ground when it comes to root vegetables.
Root vegetables are named so because the heart of the plant is in its roots. These roots grow downwards and absorb water and nutrition from the soil. Above the ground, you have the plant’s greens, and below the ground, you have its root.
Root vegetables are mostly available all year round, with most of its types peaking during early winters. Root vegetables are naturally nutrient-dense and low in fat, salt, and calories. They are also known to be high in Vitamin C and fiber.
Now let’s look at some of the most commonly found root vegetables around the world.
Types of Root Vegetables
Potatoes are tubers, which are a kind of modified stems. They grow from underground stems and serve as a storage place of nutrients for the plant.
They are relatively inexpensive to raise, are high in nutrients, and can be used to make a tasty delicacy. Overall, potatoes are a healthy supplement to your diet when consumed in moderation.
They are also naturally gluten-free, so they are suitable for practically everyone.
Turnips, commonly known as white turnips, are a resilient biennial plant from the mustard family that is grown for their fleshy roots and soft growing tops. Both the roots and the leaves are edible and healthy, making them an excellent supplement to a healthy diet.
They are some of the most significant vegetable crops in the world, as they are used to feed both humans and livestock.
The turnip is believed to have originated in middle and eastern Asia, and it is now farmed all across the temperate zone. Turnip roots can be eaten raw or pickled, while their young leaves can be cooked.
The beetroot is the taproot section of a beet plant, which is often known as beets in Canada and the United States, whereas the crop is known as beetroot in the United Kingdom.
It is one of the numerous cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris developed for its tasty taproots and greens.
Beets’ rich purple roots are usually consumed raw, boiled, grilled, alone, or mixed with different salad plants.
They are low in calories and high in nutrients like fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
The carrot is a root vegetable whose most common type is orange in color. There are many other domesticated wild varieties of carrots which can be black, yellow, red, purple, or even white.
They are commonly linked to improving hearts and eyes health, better digestion, and even losing weight.
Carrots are crunchy, packed with nutrients, and delicious. They are very high in beta carotene, antioxidants, vitamin K1, fiber, and potassium.
Parsnips are another delightful type of root crop that has been farmed and enjoyed for centuries all throughout the world.
They are lengthy, cream-colored roots that are left to develop in the soil and resemble a pale carrot.
Parsnips have delicate, tan skin that is usually peeled before cooking to reveal white flesh beneath. They are flavored sweet, like carrots, but with a nutty, earthy undertone.
Although they can be consumed fresh, they are more commonly boiled, fried, steamed, or roasted.
The root of the ginger plant, ginger itself, is considered a vegetable. Ginger is usually not known as your typical vegetable because it lacks the nutrients normally associated with vegetables. Due to its low nutritional content and strong flavor, it is often regarded as a herb or spice in the food world.
Fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, ginger can be used in a variety of ways and are a very common element of many recipes.
Ginger is high in minerals and bioactive chemicals that have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
This Brassicaceae family edible root vegetable is commonly used in salads for its crisp taste and to add to the appearance of some foods. Radish skin colors range from white to pink to purple to green to red to yellow to black. But their flesh is normally white.
Do not throw away the green leaves of radishes when cooking them. Radish greens are both tasty and nutritious.
Rutabaga, sometimes known as swede, neep, or Swedish turnip, is a root vegetable. It has a circular shape and a brownish-white tint, comparable to a turnip. Generally, it is known as a hybrid between a turnip and a cabbage.
Rutabagas are a filling vegetable high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Cassavas are also known as manioc or yuca, not to be confused with the yucca plant. They are widely grown as a yearly plant in tropical and subtropical areas for their starchy root.
Cassavas have a starchy, nutty flavor and are a good source of carbohydrates.
One thing to keep in mind is that the cassava root must be prepared properly before eating. In its raw form, the Cassava plant can be poisonous.
It is not a food that should be consumed daily and can induce cyanide poisoning if made incorrectly or ingested in high quantities.
Arrowroot is an easily digestible starch that is taken from the roots of the arrowroot plant.
It is frequently ground into a powder, which is also known as arrowroot flour. The powder is derived from the plant’s rhizome, an underground stem with several roots that store starch and nutrients.
Arrowroot is full of protein and other minerals and is very easy to digest, making it perfect for youngsters and elderly people who may require a milder diet.
Its high starch content is thought to be responsible for several of its health benefits, including weight loss, relief from diarrhea, and an improved immune system.
Sometimes known as bulb onions or common onions, they are the most frequently grown member of the Allium genus.
These nutrient-dense vegetables contain potent chemicals that can lower your risk of heart problems and certain cancers. They also have antimicrobial characteristics and support digestive health, which helps the immune system work better.
They are a very versatile and adaptable vegetable that can be utilized to enhance the flavor of any savory food.
Turmeric, like gingers, is a rhizome. A rhizome is a rootlike underground stem that generates roots beneath the earth and shoots out through the ground.
This root vegetable is most commonly used as turmeric powder to spice up dishes in different cuisines worldwide.
It has numerous scientifically proven health benefits, including the ability to boost cardiovascular health and prevent Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can aid in the treatment of depression and arthritic symptoms.
Garlic is another type of root vegetable linked to onions, chives, shallots, and leeks. It is a versatile ingredient and enhances the flavor of various savory dishes from sauces, stews, soups, and main entrees.
Cloves of Garlic have a high concentration of several essential minerals, including manganese, Vitamins B6, and C. They are also well-known for their various therapeutic benefits.
There are a wide variety of root veggies that are both healthful and delicious. These vegetables rely on the root for energy storage, which is why the root is so important. Both the top and the roots of root crops are incredibly flavorful and nutrient-dense.