Root Facts

Learn about the different roots that grow in CT! We have more materials on carrots, beets and potatoes if you click on these links.

 

Parsnip

  • This carrot shaped root vegetable is earthy and sweet. It is related to carrots but takes much longer to grow.
  • Parsnips can be roasted, mashed, fried or stewed. You can substitute with a parsnip where white potatoes, carrots or rutabagas are listed.

Turnips

  • Like a cross between a potato and a carrot, you want to (re)discover this vital vegetable! there are lots of different kinds of turnips: Purple top, Hakurie, Gilfeather…
  • Turnips also have a long history of being a staple food in Asia and Europe and are an indigenous food cultivated by Native Americans across the prairie and eastern forests. 

Rutabaga

  • The lowly rutabaga, made almost obsolete by refrigeration and shipping, is a stalwart winter root has a sweet, earthy flavor that transforms with heat into a creamy, caramel-like savory gem of belly warming!

 

Potatoes

  • Who can resist this new world staple that originated in the Incan Empire of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. The Incas used the potatoes to make chuno, which is a floury substance. The chuno was used for making a type of bread. 
  • The potato first arrived in Europe in the the mid 1500’s. and became so popular it soon spread to Ireland and Scotland where it became so widespread and popular that it became the staple crop. 

Sweet Potatoes

  • Literally a SuperFood there are many varieties of this root from purple to yellow, to white and of course orange. Sweet potatoes are part of the morning glory family and in many parts of Asia people also eat the vining leafy greens. 
  • Yams are a totally different tuber that is related to Lotus. Read more on that here!

Beets

  • Earthy and sweet, a fresh beet is a far cry from your grandmothers canned variety.  These super versatile roots can be eaten raw, juiced, steamed, roasted and pickled
  • Beets were first cultivated for their greens and has many uses as a dye and medicinal plant.

Radish

  • Crunchy, juicy, earthy, sweet, spicy…this common root is more versatile than you think! Although the round red ones are most common and easy to find there are literally radishes in so many shapes and colors.
  • The easiest to grow, even inside, it takes only about 30 days from seed to crunch! Find a fun variety and grow some of your own!

 

Sunchokes

  • Also called a Jerusalem Artichoke, this knobby root vegetable (that kinda looks like ginger) is in the sunflower family. You can eat these nutty tasting roots raw in a salad or roasted, steamed or mashed.
  • They can be hard to find but we have growers in CT who have them to sell. Check out the spreadsheet for quick reference! They are also touted as having amazing health benefits!

 

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