Some root vegetables include beets, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, daikon, celeriac, manioc, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, cassava and yucca. Potatoes are commonly mistaken as being part of the root vegetable clan, but they are actually considered stems because the potato is not the root part of the plant.
One of my favorite root vegetables is the sweet potato. It is perfectly warming and soothing on a cool fall day and is easy to prepare. I like mine boiled and add a little butter when its done. No sweetener needed here!
A few differences should be noted between sweet potatoes and yams. Both are root vegetables, but sweet potatoes are far more nutrient dense than yams!
Sweet Potatoes have 5 grams of protein per serving. Yams have 2 grams.
Sweet Potatoes have 7.5 grams of fiber per serving. Yams have 5 grams.
And sweet potatoes give you 270% of your daily serving of Vitamin A, whereas yams give you 1%. Vitamin A is good for skin, eyes, the immune system and heart health. It is also an antioxidant.
Another favorite root vegetable of mine is the parsnip. Parsnips are similar to carrots but they are sweeter, nuttier and are pale yellow in color. They are high in Vitamin C, fiber, minerals and folic acid. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is as a substitute to mashed potatoes. Here is the recipe I use from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook:
Mashed Parsnips Recipe
4 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup cream, optional
butter and salt to taste
optional: 1/4 teaspooon nutmeg and cinnamon
In a deep saucepan, combine parsnips with chicken broth and 1 1/2 cup water. With a lid, simmer until very tender (about 20 minutes).
Drain off broth. Mash parsnips with a fork or potato masher. Add enough broth back to the parsnips, and cream if you’re using it, until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and butter taste.