Root crops have become an increasingly important part of our farm offerings. We grow them out in the field in spring and fall and in high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) during winter months. Carrots, turnips, radish, and beets are added to soups, stews, and roasts. They can be sautéed in no time with a little olive oil (or cooking fat of choice) and your favorite skillet. Simply cut to your desired size, place in hot fat, and cook until soft. We tend to like our vegetables cooked a little longer till crisp.
One Pan Roasted Root Crops
Any other veggies you have on hand
Salt and pepper to taste
A large baking pan makes cooking a lot of vegetables at once. Perfect for farmers with lots of seconds to use up and CSA customers. I'm known to throw root crops, broccoli, cauliflower and even bok choy on the same pan and place in an oven set at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. This is perfect for a big get together or batch cooking for the entire week.
We love juicing beets and their greens, and so do many of our customers at Community Farmers Market. Turnips can be mashed up just like taters for a lower carb option. During a season when greens are at their peak root crops add more substance to meal time.
After formula feeding my first child, we were surprised when our daughter Elizabeth was born and refused both bottle and pacifier. I began an exclusive breastfeeding relationship with her that I wasn't prepared for. I was encouraged by those in public health that our bodies were designed to prepare this food--something I had never considered before. When it was time to start solids, knowing that breast milk was the best first food, we looked to locally, seasonally grown fruits and vegetables as the next best food thanks to support from the local health department and the WIC program.
Years later, when we discovered that Lilah had severe food sensitivities and leaky gut, an important part of her healing protocol was nourishing broth and real food. We now know that broth is the best next food for babies, and we're sure to make sure that Sterling ate plenty when he began solids. It's also the perfect nourishing food for anyone with illness, sensitivities or digestive upset.
At least a few times a year—and always in January—our family allows our tummies a break by following a diet rich in bone broth, healthy fats, and vegetables. The new year, followed by the busyness of the holiday season, makes for perfect timing.
Classic Bone Broth
Salt and peppercorns
2 gallons filtered water (add more as needed)
Broth is a simple food requiring only what you have on hand and time. The base can be whole chickens, leftover bones, fish heads, chicken feet or any other leftover meat, bone or marrow from earlier cooking. Most often, I just take a whole chicken and combine it with onions and other vegetables we have available. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 12-24 hours. The chicken can be removed and used in other meals (we normally shred it for a nourishing chicken salad). Over time you will learn how you prefer your broth. Just get started!
Broth keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer. It's perfect to drink daily or as needed for healing. It’s used in so many soups, stews and other recipes that it makes a great staple to keep on hand.