When your body craves hearty fare this wintertime, choose from the incredibly versatile root vegetables. Both delicious and low in calories, they allow you to indulge and fulfill your desire for a hearty winter meal.
Root vegetables such as beets, carrots, celeriac, jicama, parsnips, radishes and rutabaga, to name the most familiar, contain only about 10 to 60 calories per half-cup serving, and negligible amounts of fat.
Their versatility can be savored in soups, stews, salads, and main dishes. But root vegetables can quadruple in calories when cream is added to them, or when they are fried or smothered in cheese, oil, butter or other fattening ingredients. Instead, bring out their delicious, earthy flavors by sauteing, roasting, baking or pressure-cooking them.
You can also boil root vegetables in broth, then mash them with a pinch of salt and serve them as a side dish. Or roast them with a splash of citrus or balsamic vinegar to add to a salad or enjoy as a low calorie, hearty main dish.
Whatever your preference, you can succumb to your cravings for a hearty winter meal and still keep the calorie count down by discovering the great variety of healthy, tasty and satisfying root vegetables.
Megan Porter, RD