Although the weather is now colder and darker there are many foods we can eat which can boost our health and wellbeing during autumn and winter months. I love root vegetables and they can add a shine to both your body and mind! They are hearty, comforting and healthy and due to their tough skins they stay fresh and delicious.
Root veg include potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, swede, parsnip and ginger root. Some also include onions, garlic and radishes. Because root veg are grown deep in the ground they absorb many nutrients from the soil such as Vitamins A, C and B vitamins, iron and antioxidants. This will help keep you healthy and nourished in the colder, darker months.
Root veg are rich in complex carbs which help support blood sugar levels and help provide you with longer lasting energy for your body and brain. They are also rich in fibre which supports digestion and weight balance as the fibre helps you feel fuller for longer.
Being in nature can help us feel more grounded, calm and help restore balance when we are stressed or feeling frazzled. Root veg come from the ground, provided by nature and in the chakra energy system the base or root chakra helps when balanced helps us feel more grounded and stable.
Protein rich foods and root vegetables help support this chakra. So adding in root veg such as carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, parsnips to soups, stews, casseroles and curries can help us feel more grounded and balanced.
Dandelion root tea is caffeine free and another way to soothe and balance your root chakra if you feel a bit disconnected, stressed or too “in your head”.
Sweet Potato, Coconut & Chilli Soup
Heat olive oil in a pan, add a chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic minced and chilli flakes or chopped red chilli and cook until onions softens. Add 1 kg chopped sweet potato and stir. Add 750 ml chicken or veg stock and cover saucepan.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat and simmer for approx. 12-15 mins. Puree soup in a blender and stir in a 400ml tin coconut milk and reheat. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and chopped coriander if desire
Spicy Root & Lentil Casserole from BBC Good Food
• 2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 700g potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
• 4 carrots, thickly sliced
• 1 parsnip, thickly sliced
• 2 tablespoons curry paste or powder
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• 100g red lentils or green lentils
• Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• Yoghurt and nan bread or brown rice to serve
• Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 3-4 mins till softened
• Add the potatoes, carrots and parsnips and cook for another 7-8 mins, stirring until veg golden
• Stir in the curry paste or powder
• Add the stock and bring to the boil
• Add the lentils, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until the lentils and veg are tender and the sauce has thickened
• Stir in most of the coriander, season
• Top with yoghurt to serve