Roasted & Glazed Roots

Roasted and glazed root vegetables offer a satisfying and healthy comfort food.

Comfort food helps all sorts of things: cold snowy days, grey rainy days, busy days, a touch of winter blues, or just one of the Mercury retrograde days where everything seems to go wrong. 

Roasting a sheet pan full of glazed root vegetables is the easiest way to keep healthy comfort food available for multiple meals.

Health Benefits of Root Vegetables

1) They supply complex carbohydrates and starches. The low-carb fad often dismisses root vegetables because they have higher carbs than other vegetables but carbohydrates and starches provide energy for our bodies.

2) They are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants. Selecting colored roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, and beets contain powerful flavonoids.

3) They are loaded with fiber. Fiber stays in our digestive system longer so we tend to feel full for extended periods. Fiber also helps with blood sugar regulation. Fiber is key to a smooth-moving digestive system, reducing the possibility of constipation. 

Recipe:  Roasted & Glazed Roots

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prep veggies and mix in a large bowl. To ensure even cooking, chop the vegetables the same size. I prefer a 1-2 inch dice but if you chop smaller, roasting time will decrease. Use any combination (the more colorful, the more nutritious) to create 4-8 cups of chopped roots.

  • Carrots 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Jerusalem artichokes (AKA sunchokes)
  • Potatoes
  • Celery root (learn more about this root here)
  • Beets
  • Fennel bulbs

For unglazed vegetables, drizzle and stir the vegetables with olive oil until lightly covered. Season with salt and pepper. Adding herbs and seasonings can add to the flavor of roasted vegetables: 

  • Garlic cloves (peeled, left whole)
  • Dried sage, rosemary, or thyme
  • Seasoning blends like Montreal Steak seasoning, Five Spice, Curry Blend, Chili Blend
  • Red pepper flakes

Roasting the vegetables with a glaze-like sauce is my favorite way to enjoy roasted roots. Double these recipes if you are roasting a large amount of vegetables.

Mustard-Maple Glaze

Mix 2 T. Dijon or brown mustard with 2 T. of pure maple syrup. Add ¼ cup of olive oil (more as needed to coat the roots). Caraway or fennel seeds are a tasty addition.

Balsamic Glaze

Mix ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 t. honey or maple syrup, and 1 T. lemon juice.

Zesty Orange Glaze

Using a small food processor or blender, thoroughly blend the following: 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice & grated zest of one orange
  • 2-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled & grated fresh ginger (don’t substitute dry ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or Fire Cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric (or curry powder)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of thyme
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Directions

Cooking directions: Pour glaze over the vegetables and mix until coated. Move to a single layer on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Avoid crowding the vegetables, let them have some space so they roast and not steam. Use two, rimmed sheets for large amounts.

Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Check veggie tenderness at 25 minutes and cook longer if not tender enough.

Remove and stir again. Broil under high heat for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the veggies.

Serve as a side dish or as a main meal. Leftovers are perfect for lunch and I recently topped a serving with a fried egg and called it breakfast.

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