With the change in season comes new fall vegetables. From parsnips to pumpkin, these nutritious foods are just waiting to be added to our plates. My favorite way of preparing the fall harvest is simply roasting veggies in a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Of course, you can get creative with bold herbs like rosemary or thyme if you would like.
Why Roast Vegetables?
Fall vegetables are practically begging to be roasted. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavors. Plus, the process of roasting completely transforms them, allowing for browning, carmelization, and crisping. The result is absolutely delicious vegetables. Compared to steaming, which just cooks the vegetables, roasting is worth the time.
Top Ten Fall Vegetables
These vegetables make my short list because they taste particularly good roasted, and they offer powerful vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Roast these on their own, or combine several together for a blended taste. Follow the steps below for my no-fail recipe for perfectly roasted fall veggies.
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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash vegetables, and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. Place vegetables in a roasting pan or foil-lined, jelly-roll pan.
4. Gently coat the vegetables with oil--live oil, canola oil, or corn oil. Start with a couple of tablespoons.
5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
6. Spread out the vegetables to form one layer.
7. Place the pan in the oven, and roast 30-60 minutes until tender and browned. After about 20 minutes, check the vegetables and turn them. If they aren't browned after 60 minutes, place them in the broiler for a few minutes.
8. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
Roasted vegetables taste wonderful as a side dish. You can also add them to sandwiches, salads, and soups. Consider adding shaved parmesan cheese or fresh herbs after roasting.
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Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, helps empower people to build healthy lifestyles. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, Scritchfield is a Washington, D.C.-based registered dietitian and fitness expert who encourages clients to find exercise that feels great, learn to manage stress, and establish lifelong eating skills that balance individual nutrition needs with hunger and pleasure. Visit her blog at: www.rebeccathinks.com.