December is observed as the Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month. These eye-popping seasonal vegetables and fruits can enhance the flavor of all your meals for the whole month, while keeping a check on your health and wellbeing.
The most common winter root veggies include celery root, sweet potato, radish, parsnip, turnip, and rutabagas. The exotic seasonal fruits of December include Rambutan, Mangosteen, Jackfruit, Persimmon, Dragonfruit, and Longans. These vegetables and fruits are also loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
So, with the holiday season here, why not add some excitement to your dishes to savor the taste and also give them a nutritious boost.
In this blog, we give you 2 healthy recipes – one savory using the seasonal winter root vegetables and a spicy Christmas cookie for dessert.
Roasted Winter Root Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a must-have for weekend family meals and definitely for Christmas Day. These colorful veggies not only make your table look great, but also boost the health quotient of your meals. This recipe includes different winter root vegetables that make a great option for your wholesome meals.
- Rutabaga – 2 pounds (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces)
- Parsnips – 2 pounds (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces)
- Carrots – 2 pounds (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces)
- Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
- Fresh Parsley – chopped, as needed
- Dried Basil – as per taste
- Salt – as per taste
- Black Pepper – ground, as per taste
- Cook the rutabaga, carrots, and parsnips separately. Each time, cover the vegetables with water and a tsp of salt. Boil on medium until they are tender and have a bite.
- Cool the vegetables well to avoid overcooking or getting mushy.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F)
- Take a large mixing bowl and place all the cooked vegetables in it.
- Add the salt, ground pepper, and basil. Toss it well.
- Pour the vegetable oil into a deep baking dish. Place it in the heated oven for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan and add the prepared vegetables to this dish and mix well to coat with the oil.
- Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 30 minutes or until they are tender. Keep turning them every 10 minutes to avoid burning.
- Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. If you wish, you can also garnish with any low-fat cheese of your choice.
- Be careful while handling the hot pan and oil.
- You can boil the vegetables and store them in sealed bags in the freezer for about a month. Use them whenever needed.
- You can use any other root vegetables or fresh produce of your choice.
- Use any other spices or herbs of your choice to enhance the flavor.
This recipe makes around 20 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 99
- Protein – 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates – 13.8 g
- Fat – 4.8 g
- Dietary Fiber – 4 g
Spicy Ginger Snaps
Ginger has been used in cooking for ages, and its medicinal properties make it one of the best winter foods. Ginger is a diaphoretic and also stimulates thermogenesis to keep the body warm. It also helps in the digestion of food, a must need during winters and the festive season. Rich in antioxidants, ginger also reduces inflammation and regulates heart health. With the holiday and festive season here, spiced ginger cookies are a must-have. The warmth of the ginger and spice keep your health in check, and the simple recipe makes it easy to prepare them for your family and guests.
- Brown Sugar – 1 cup
- All-purpose flour – 2 cups
- Vegetable oil – 3/4th cup
- Molasses – 1/4th cup
- Egg – 1 whole
- Baking soda – 2 tsp
- Ground ginger – 1 tsp
- Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
- Ground cloves – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4th tsp
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).
- Take a large bowl and add the oil, brown sugar, egg, and molasses. Mix well.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ground spices, and salt into the molasses mixture. Combine well.
- Roll the dough into one and half-inch balls.
- If your health permits, roll the balls in powdered sugar. Else, avoid it.
- Place the balls at least 2 inches apart on the baking tray.
- Bake for around 10 – 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Make sure the center is solid and firm.
- Cool it on cooling racks before storing it in the right jars.
- While the original recipe uses molasses, you can use healthier alternatives like apple sauce, honey, or yogurt. Make sure you adjust the sugar and other ingredients accordingly.
- Shape the cookies into stars or other shapes of your choice.
This recipe makes around 36 servings, depending on the size of the balls you make.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 105
- Protein – 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates – 15 g
- Fat – 4.8 g
- Dietary Fiber – 0.2 g
Recipe ideas and methods are taken from allrecipes.com