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Root, Root, Root for Root Vegetables

Check Out These Classic Fall Recipes

As winter approaches, fall’s bountiful harvest can be stored and enjoyed through the frosty months ahead. Root veggies are an indispensable source of nutrition in colder climates and versatile and delicious.  They are a powerhouse of vitamins, phytonutrients and complex carbohydrates.  The phytonutrients are associated with the colour of the veggie, and the more intense the colour, the more phytonutrients the little veggie packs.





Also known as Indian Butternut Pumpkin Curry. Recipe from Natasha Narayan DCHM, www.n-h.ca


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups of ripe butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 chopped ripe tomato or half a cup of canned diced tomatoes
  • Chickpeas (optional)


  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot at a higher heat (about 7/10).
  • Add mustard and cumin seeds.  Once the seeds start to pop add the onion. Stir.
  • As the onion starts to turn transparent, add the garlic.  Stir again.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add turmeric and chili powder. Stir to toast spices for under a minute.
  • Add cubed squash and toss in onion and spice mixture until evenly coated.  Add a 1/4 cup of water.
  • Add half of the salt (1/2 tablespoon) and stir.
  • Turn heat to low (not simmer), cover pot and continue to stir and cook until squash softens. (Can also add chickpeas at this step)
  • Once the squash starts to soften then add the chopped tomatoes and continue to stir.
  • Keep the heat closer to low and stir every few minutes so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. Taste test for salt levels and adjust using remaining salt to personal preference.
  • Cook until tender but not mashed. You may need to vary the amount of water based on the hardness of the squash. 
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro

Note:  This can be eaten with wild rice or whole wheat naan bread. Naan can be purchased from Indian grocery stores. Keep in the fridge and heat in a frying pan before serving. Brush with coconut oil or ghee for flavour.  





  • 8 cups chopped or cubed root vegetables.
  • Choose from: Squash, onions, garlic, beets, parsnip, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes*.  (Note you can buy peeled and cubed squash, sweet potatoes and turnips)
  • ¼ cup 100% maple syrup
  • ¼- 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss the vegetables with the syrup, oil, vinegar, thyme, seasalt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and roast for about an hour.
  • Check and stir veggies after 30 minutes.

Note: Jerusalem artichokes, native to North America, are nothing liked the canned artichokes you can buy. Also called sunchokes, they are a cross between a potato (without the starch) and a ginger root with a sweet flavour. When cooking, scrub them clean but do not peel. A great source of calcium and magnesium, Jerusalem artichokes are also excellent for liver detoxification and blood sugar metabolism.





  • 1 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ¾ cup kamut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon seasalt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 medium sized apple, finely grated 
  • 1 cup olive oil or coconut oil (melted)


  • Mix oil and sucanat in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Peel carrots and shred using a food processor.  Add to the mixing bowl.
  • Core apple (but do not peel) and process in the food processor. Add to mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar and mix everything together in mixing bowl.
  • Mix together in a separate mixing bowl the remaining dry ingredients: the flours, coconut, cinnamon, raisins, baking soda and sea salt.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet mixture.
  • Optional: add walnuts.
  • When completely mixed, scoop into a greased muffin tin about ¾ full.
  • Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Makes 18-20 muffins.




Ingredients for Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups baked sweet potato or yam (skins removed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup melted organic unsalted butter
  • 1 prepared piecrust – optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  • Pour into a piecrust or small lightly oiled soufflé cups.
  • Mix topping ingredients and pour on top of pie filling.
  • Bake for 40 minutes in the soufflé cups or about 50- 55 minutes for the whole pie, until a butter knife inserted into the centre of the pie comes out clean.
  • Makes 6-8 servings





  • 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and sliced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ quarts chicken stock
  • Several thyme sprigs, tied together
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, sea salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Sour cream


  • Melt butter in a large pot and add onions, leeks, carrots, turnips, rutabaga and parsnips.
  • Cover and cook gently about ½ hour over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add stock, bring to a boil and skim.
  • Add garlic, thyme and cayenne.
  • Simmer, covered for about ½ hour until the vegetables are soft.
  • Remove thyme sprigs and puree soup with a hand held blender. Season to taste.
  • If soup is too thick, thin with a little water.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with a scoop of sour cream.





  • 1 lb. of carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Spices: pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg to taste


  • Peel and cut carrots and parsnips into thirds. 
  • Steam them until you can cut through the roots easily with a butter knife.
  • Add butter, pepper, some cinnamon (maybe ¼ teaspoon), a sprinkle of nutmeg and a little cardamom. Mash them up and top with fresh parsley.
  • This will make a great side dish for anything!



Michelle Weir is a Holistic Nutritonist & Live Cell Microscopist at BLUEPRINT Holistic Health clinic in Midtown Toronto. www.blueprintwellness.ca