December 16, 2017
The root is perhaps the most important part of a plant, in that it keeps it grounded, provides essential nutrients and literally keeps the plant alive. And not just this, there are many plants which have edible roots too. They are full of vital nutrients like Vitamin A and C, Magnesium and dietary fiber. Forget carrots, potatoes, and other known roots, there are several other edible roots you probably didn’t even know about! It’s high time we learn more about these and start exploring their potential.
Here are five roots that you need to start eating regularly if you haven’t already.
1. Lotus Root
As the name says – it is the root of the aquatic lotus flower. It is a long, woody root which is often sliced and then prepared. It tastes amazing and can be eaten either raw or cooked or even boiled. It can be eaten as an appetizer, used in curries and could also make for an interesting salad. Lotus roots are often pickled and enjoyed all-round the year.
Rich in many nutrients like Vitamins like A and C, lotus root aids in improving blood circulation, improving digestion, regulating blood pressure and reduce stress.
Sunchoke resembles potatoes and tastes nutty. This root is known by many names like – the Jerusalem artichoke, sun root and earth apple. It is loaded with iron and potassium and helps the body to absorb calcium.
Let’s do a little quiz! Do you know which food is considered one of the first cultivated plants in human history? TARO! It is a staple food in Africa, Indian and Oceanic cuisines and also can be found in Japan, Egypt, Spain and the United States of America. It is commonly known as Elephant ears. It has high levels of Vitamin A, C, E, B6; folate, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. It also helps in protecting the skin, enhance vision and decrease blood pressure. What can we say, Elephant ears has elephant sized benefits!
Also known as malanga, tannia, tannier, and cocoyam; Yautia has an elongated shape with shaggy and brownish texture. It is nutty in taste and is favored in Cuba and Puerto Rican cuisines. It is rich in copper, Vitamin B6, carbohydrates, and iron. It is good for the brain, thyroid problems, and kidney ailments and helps a lot in enhancing immunity.
Yet another nutty-flavored root which is a major source of carbs in many developing countries. People with food allergies often consume this as it’s gluten free, grain free and nut free. It can be eaten whole or powdered to flour to make crackers and bread. It should be noted that raw cassava can be poisonous so always remember to cook it before eating it.