Food of the Month~ Root Vegetables

Parsnips, Carrots, Sweet potato, Daikon, Turnips, do you know what all these vegetables have in common? They are all root vegetables. Just like the name implies, it is the root of the plant. This is the strong, constrictive, downward moving energy of the plant, what we refer to as, yang. These root vegetables have the strong grounding energy that many of us are missing.

Most people who consume the average American diet, are consuming many overly sweet foods, desserts, sodas, smoothies and tropical fruits. All of these foods are considered, yin. And most people only consume vegetables that grow on top of the ground: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and kale. And while these foods from Mother Earth are nutritious for you, we need to consider the energy of all the foods we are consuming. We need a balance between both the yin and yang energy foods. Unfortunately, many people are not familiar with the more grounding, yang energy root vegetables.

Parsnips are mildly sweet and creamy when cooked. They are high in silicon, fiber, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and C. Carrots, have a wonderful sweet taste and are high in calcium phosphorus, Vitamin A and B vitamins. Daikon is in the radish family. When eaten raw it is pungent, but when cooked it becomes slightly sweet. It is great for digestion, and contains a substance that inhibits the formation of carcinogens in the body. Turnips are in the cabbage family and have high anticarcinogenic properties. Sweet Potatoes are rich and creamy and are the sweetest of the bunch. They are high in vitamin A and C and Calcium. All these naturally sweet, root vegetables also feed and nurture the spleen, pancreas and stomach. Here is a simple stew that highlights the individual flavors of these root vegetables.

Root Vegetable Stew
1 sweet potato
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips
1 (6 inch) piece daikon
1 3/4 cup water
2 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
2 T. arrowroot
2 T. minced kale as garnish

Cut all vegetables in medium size pieces and all the same size. Put the vegetables in a large pot, each in its own spot, like pieces of pie. Pour water over, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Add the sea salt, basil and thyme. Slowly sprinkle and stir on the arrowroot. The stew will thicken as you add the arrowroot and stir. Garnish with the minced kale.

Valerie Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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