While roasted root vegetables are definitely among my favourite fall appetizers, I think that my top two favourites out of this group of veggies are sweet potatoes and carrots. Both end up with this unbelievably sweet, super yummy taste when roasted… plus they pack a serious nutritional punch! Add roasting to that equation, and you are in for a real treat – roasting transforms vegetables into something beyond their normal everyday existence (this is because the water evaporates from sugar molecules inside the veggies during the high heat used for roasting. This enhances their natural sweet flavours and creates a beautiful crusty brown exterior). Roasting also retains more nutrients that other cooking methods, which will mean that what you are cooking will end up giving you the most bang for your cooked vegetable buck.
Do you know how healthy carrots actually are? Carrots are naturally very low in calories, and nearly all of those calories come from carbohydrates, which your body turns to glucose to fuel cells. Carrots are rich in soluble fiber, which attracts liquid in your gut and slows digestion. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are also loaded with beta carotene. Your body converts beta carotene into retinol, which supports optimal vision, normal growth and development and a healthy immune system. Women need 700 micrograms of total vitamin A each day, while men require 900 micrograms, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. A 1-ounce serving of raw carrots provides more than 100 micrograms of vitamin A compounds. In fact, two large carrots contain an amazing 24,057 IUs or 800% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A!
Everybody knows how healthy vegetables are to begin with, but now that you know all of these healthy facts about root veggies, why aren’t you eating more of them??
Roasted vegetables stand alone as a healthy side dish, but they’re versatile enough to be included in any meal as a main if you get creative enough. As for this particular recipe, it isn’t quite main dish material, but it still makes for an incredibly yummy and super duper healthy side! Best served with wine and roasted meats.
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 lbs. carrots (10 to 12 medium), cut into ¼” diagonal slices
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450ºF
- Combine oil, chili powder, cumin and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrots and toss well to coat. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the carrots, stirring once, until tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes
- Toss the carrots with cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately
Nutrition Per serving: 161 calories; 8g fat (1g sat, 4g mono); 0mg cholesterol; 23g carbohydrates; 0g added sugars; 2g protein; 7g fiber; 455mg sodium; 750mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (762% daily value), Vitamin C (27% dv), Potassium (21% dv).