It’s time to get back to your roots, starting with these delicious, nutritious caramelized roasted carrots & beets topped with a bright & creamy oil-free vegan avocado basil dressing.
What Are Root Vegetables?
Root vegetables are edible plant parts that grow underground. Some are ‘true roots’ or taproots, others are bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and tubers. While not all of them are actually ‘roots’, tubers – like potatoes and yams – are still considered root vegetables. Likewise, ginger, turmeric, ginseng, and arrowroot – all rhizomes – grow underground. Carrots, parsnips, radishes, daikon, turnips, rutabagas, jicama, are ‘true roots’ or taproots.
Are Root Vegetables Healthy?
Eat your carrots! Root vegetables are packed with nutrients and complex carbohydrates (the good kind). Low in calories and high in antioxidants, each type of veggie offers different amounts of vitamins and minerals. For instance, carrots are high in vitamin A, turnips are loaded with calcium, and russet potatoes are great sources of potassium.
These vibrant veggies make the perfect partner with braised tofu or as a brilliant addition to a bowl of ancient grains. My favorite way to serve roasted root veggies is on a fresh leafy salad topped with a drizzle of creamy oil-free Vegan Avocado Basil Dressing. Enjoy the recipe!
How To Roast Root Vegetables
Roasted Root Veggies
- 4large beets red and golden – washed, peeled, cut into bite-size wedges
- 6large carrots (any variety) – washed, peeled, cut into 1/2" rounds
- 2tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2tsp coarse sea salt
- 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2tbsp maple syrup
Vegan Avocado Basil Dressing
- 1large bunch fresh basil - washed and stems removed
- 1lemon juiced
- 1tsp blue agave nectar
- 1/2large ripe avocado
- 1/4C water
- 1pinch sea salt (I suggest 1/8 tsp or less)
Step 1. Preheat oven to 400º
Step 2. Wash and peel carrots and beets. Slice carrots into ½” rounds and cut beets into bite-sized wedges.
Step 3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly coat an oven proof pan or skillet with oil. Arrange carrots and beets on 2 separate pans.
Step 4. Brush carrots and beets lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Step 5. Roast carrots in oven at 400º for 15 minutes until just tender. Roast beets in oven for 20 – 30 minutes until just tender.
Step 6. Combine balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Brush carrots and beets with vinegar and syrup. Place both pans back into oven for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the vinegar/syrup mix to caramelize. Remove from oven.
Step 7. Prepare Avocado Basil Dressing. Place basil, agave nectar, lemon juice and salt into a food processor or blender. Pulse until basil is completely pureed. Add avocado, continue to puree. Gradually add water, a little at a time, until dressing is a consistency you like. Add salt to taste.
About the Author
Connie Edwards-McGaughy is the creator and recipe developer for The Carrot Underground thecarrotunderground.com a vegan food and lifestyle blog. When she’s not cooking in the kitchen or at her computer, you can find her rescuing animals or stand-up paddle boarding near her home in San Diego, CA.