ROOTS & TUBERS
A CO N S U M E R’S G U I D E TO
SHOPPING, COOKING & EATING “GREEN”
Radish Sweet Potato Turnip
Radishes come in a variety of colors, Commonly referred to as “yams” in Raw turnips impart a mild, radish flavor.
shapes and sizes, with mildly pungent the United States, these tubers are When cooked, turnips become delicately
to peppery hot flavor. The older the distinctly different from the brown, sweet and succulent, absorbing other
radish, the hotter it becomes. (Fall) woody skinned yams used in African flavors well. (Fall through Winter)
Selection & Storage: This root is best and Caribbean cooking.
Selection & Storage: Choose small
when smooth, firm and crisp. Sweet potatoes have a rich and sweet to medium sized roots for best flavor
Culinary Tips: Crisp, fresh radish flavor with a dense, mealy flesh. and texture.
makes a good garnish and addition to Yellow flesh varieties tend to have
Health Benefits: Raw turnips aid digestion
salads. Try mixing thinly sliced radish drier texture and mildly sweet flavor;
and help clean the teeth. Cooked turnips
to cooked, cooled corn with some ones with orange flesh have a sweeter
energize the digestive system.
chopped green onions. To cook, briefly flavor and more watery texture. (Fall)
Note: Turnips and rutabagas contain high
steam for a delicate, sweet flavor Selection & Storage: Sweet potatoes
amounts of goitrogens which can interfere
reminiscent of a turnip. Radish tops give should be kept in a cool, dry place,
with thyroid function. Individuals with low
a peppery taste to salads and soups. but not the refrigerator.
thyroid function should limit their use.
Health Benefits: Radishes are diuretic, Culinary Tips: Boil, roast, steam, bake
stimulating and help to clear the sinuses. or add to casseroles or sweet dishes. Water Chestnut
The radish is good for sore throats and Excellent with sweet spices, such as The Chinese water chestnut has a taste
to help prevent viral infections. cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg similar to sugar cane, sweet corn and
and allspice. coconut. It has a delicate, mild flavor
Rutabaga Glaze with maple syrup and butter with a refreshing, crunchy texture.
(Swedish Turnip) The rutabaga has a mild, for a rich, sweet dish. Peeled and (Winter)
sweet flavor that absorbs other flavors. mashed sweet potatoes make a good Selection & Storage: This tuber should
Rutabagas are larger and darker than substitute for flour (up to 1⁄4 of the be rock hard when selected.
turnips and they have a smooth skin. total called for) in baked goods.
(Fall through Winter) Culinary Tips: They are excellent with
Health Benefits: Sweet potatoes are stir-fried vegetables or in noodle or
Culinary Tips: Peel and use raw or packed with nutrition and are easily rice dishes.
steamed, baked, roasted, boiled, or digestible. They are an excellent
mashed (great with mashed carrots and Health Benefits: Water chestnuts have
source of vitamin A and a good a cooling quality and are beneficial for
potatoes). Add to soups and stews. To source of potassium and vitamin C.
use raw in a salad, try grating coarsely diabetes, jaundice and metal detoxification.
They are also known for their ability
and mix with a creamy dressing and to detoxify metals in the body.
chopped dates. Sources: The Complete Vegetarian
Note: Rutabagas can be irritating to Taro Cuisine by Rose Elliot, The Wellness
people with kidney problems. (Dasheen, Malanga) Taro is a high Encyclopedia by UCB Wellness Letter
carbohydrate food with chestnut Editors and Whole Foods Companion
Sunchokes and potato flavors. (Winter) by Dianne Onstad.
(Jerusalem Artichokes) This knobby tuber
Selection & Storage: Choose firm
has a crisp flesh with a mildly sweet
and plump roots. Store out of
flavor. (Late Fall through Winter)
Selection & Storage: Once cut, store
Culinary Tips: Taro is best when
in cold water with lemon juice to
peeled, then steamed or boiled and
added to soups or stews. It may also
Culinary Tips: Delicious when sliced be baked with a flavorful sauce.
or grated raw into salads. Use as a
Pan-fried taro root is excellent.
substitute for water chestnuts in stir-
Serve taro piping hot. The greens OPEN DAILY TO EVERYONE
fries, noodle or rice dishes. Cook and 7 am to 10 pm
may be eaten in soups and stir-fries,
mash into pureed vegetables, add to
removing the strings first. Sacramento (916)455.2667
soup or tomato sauce, or serve hot 1900 Alhambra Blvd.
with parsley and butter or olive oil. Note: Taro is poisonous when uncooked!
Elk Grove (916)714.7100
Health Benefits: Sunchokes are a good Elk Grove Marketplace
source of iron, thiamine, vitamins B6 8517 Bond Road
and C. t PRINTED ON 100% RECYCLED PAPER www.sacfoodcoop.com
ROOTS & TUBERS
A CO N S U M E R’S G U I D E TO
SHOPPING, COOKING & EATING “GREEN”
• BUY CERTIFIED ORGANIC GROWN WHENEVER POSSIBLE •
Beet Carrot Lotus Root
A Swiss chard relative, usually a deep, One of the most versatile and nutritious This starchy, yet crunchy root has a
reddish purple color with a sweet, vegetables with their sweet taste and mild, slightly sweet flesh. (Winter)
earthy flavor; white and golden varieties crisp texture, carrots are great for Culinary Tips: Lotus root remains crunchy
exist. (Winter through Spring) appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. when cooked. Peel, then slice thinly or
Culinary tips: Peel, grate raw and mix (Winter through Summer) grate. Use like turnips or potatoes.
with equal amounts of grated apple Selection & Storage: For the sweetest Health Benefits: Lotus root is warming,
and some raisins, or sliced onion rings and most tender, choose thin and smaller good for lung ailments and increasing
and vinaigrette. carrots. Freshly picked with the green tops energy. It is also a digestive aid and helps
Cooked beets are tasty when pickled, still intact are best. More orange means control blood pressure.
boiled, baked and in soups. Beet more beta carotene.
greens may be used like chard. Culinary Tips: Eat raw or cooked, good Parsnip
To cook, scrub gently and rinse well, with apples and nuts. Green carrot tops This sweet, nutty flavored root looks
leaving root untrimmed. Cook until can be eaten raw in salads or pureed for like a chunky, white carrot. (Fall through
tender, drain and rinse under cold sauces and soups. Winter)
water, then peel. Health Benefits: An excellent detoxifier, Selection & Storage: Choose firm and
Colorful and delicious served warm diuretic and stimulant, the carrot is high smooth roots.
with vinegar or citrus juice, ground in phosphorus, silicon, and abundant Culinary Tips: A small amount of parsnip
pepper, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of in vitamins, minerals and enzymes; adds a snappy touch to a salad when
olive oil or butter. extraordinarily rich in the antioxidant grated raw. To cook parsnips, steam,
beta carotene (vitamin A’s precursor). don’t boil, then peel and serve with salt,
Other suggestions: Serve with a sweet
and sour dressing; creamy yogurt pepper, and a small pat of butter.
sauce with horseradish and fresh dill; Parsnips may also be roasted or added to
(Celery root, Knob Celery) This root
ginger, caraway seeds, cloves, nutmeg soups and stews. Parsnips have a strong,
tastes like a combination of celery and
and cinnamon. dominating flavor, so use with discretion.
parsley, with a stronger, smoky flavor.
Health Benefits: The beet is an excellent They make a zesty addition to a baked
(Winter to Spring)
body cleanser and acid eliminator, also root medley.
Selection & Storage: Choose firm,
noted for its blood detoxification and Health Benefits: Parsnips are loaded
ability to relieve constipation. with food energy and have diuretic,
Culinary Tips: Discard the stalks and leaves detoxifying and cleansing attributes.
Burdock and use as turnips, either raw or cooked.
(Gobo Root, Beggar’s Button) This thin, Cut in fine julienne strips or grate and Potato
brown-skinned root has a rich, heady serve raw with a vinaigrette. Purée cooked Potatoes come in a variety of colors and
aroma reminiscent of freshly dug soil celeriac and mix with mashed potatoes. tend to be either “waxy” types with moist,
and a strong earthy flavor. (Year-round) Health Benefits: High in vitamin C, translucent flesh or “floury” types with a
Selection & Storage: Best when firm potassium and phosphorus, celeriac is a dry, fluffy texture when cooked. (Spring
and somewhat crisp. Store in a damp diuretic, good for kidney stones as well as through Fall)
cloth or paper towel in refrigerator. the lymphatic, nervous and urinary systems. Selection & Storage: Choose firm
Culinary Tips: Scrub well, then slice potatoes with no green skin. Store in
Daikon a cool, dark place (not refrigerator).
or sliver, and add to soups, stews, This long, white Japanese root tastes like a
vegetable, noodle or grain dishes. Culinary Tips: Remove sprouts and green
cross between a turnip and a radish with
Cooked (slightly longer than carrots), spots. Potatoes may be boiled, baked,
its slightly hot taste. (Winter)
it has a pleasant chewy texture and roasted, fried, steamed, mashed, and are
subtly sweet taste. Culinary Tips: Daikon may be sliced or excellent in soups, salads and casseroles.
grated raw into salads and stir-fries. Daikon
Health Benefits: High in magnesium, Health Benefits: An excellent fuel food,
adds a nice flavor to soups or stews and is
potassium and folacin, burdock is potatoes are rich in vitamin C and
traditionally served pickled.
excellent for the kidneys and purifies potassium, enzymes and minerals.
the blood. Health Benefits: Raw daikon is used as
a digestive aid.