Follow these tips to achieve perfectly roasted winter vegetables every time! Not only will they increase your vegetable intake throughout the week, there are endless ways to enjoy them as a healthy addition to your snacks/meals.
I love roasting vegetables, especially the winter varieties. They seriously just beg to spend time in the oven. If I encounter a vegetable I had never cooked with before, I’ll roast it. If there’s a vegetable I’m not too fond of, I’ll roast that too. It’s how I got to fall head over heels over Brussels sprouts and perhaps beets in the near future. Roasting not only intensifies the flavor and brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, but it also produces crispy caramelized surfaces, which is to die for!
When my clients tell me they don’t like certain (or any) vegetables, I introduce them to the delicious and magical world of roasting. And boy does their veggie consumption go up and up! On the other hand, there are still some vegetables that are generally not embraced, even after roasting. Beets and eggplants seem to make the list of “no thank you” more often than not. That’s when I encourage eating them alongside vegetables they DO like. Eventually , they will come around, right? #alwayshopeful. After all, variety (and balance) is a key component of healthy eating and makes meals that much more exciting! The husband, too, is not a fan of beets. So I lovingly hide them beneath all the veggies he considers acceptable ;). To his credit, he has come a long way in regards to expanding his veggie repertoire.
I roast vegetables every single week as a part of my weekly meal prep, and here are some tips I learned along the way to ensuring perfectly roasted vegetables every time.
- Cut all your veggies into similar size for even coking. I personally don’t like to cut them too small because they will shrink down during roasting.
- Rather than drizzling the oil on top after the vegetables have been spread out on the pan, toss them in a bowl and then transfer to the pan. Also, make sure you add enough oil to coat all the veggies, so they get all nice and shiny instead of dry and lifeless looking. I find that about 1-2 tablespoons are enough. My go-to oils are olive, coconut, avocado, and recently walnut oil.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll end up with soggy instead of crispy veggies
- Baking at 400-425F works the best! Not only will the high-temperature shorten the cooking time but will give you that nice crispy texture. Can you tell I am a total texture person?
- Line the pan! Not only does it make cleanup a breeze, you won’t end up losing all the nicely browned and crispy bottoms when you try to free the vegetables that got stuck on the pan.
- Be adventurous! This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your herb/spice rack or perhaps start a collection! Do IT! It adds tremendous flavor to the veggies. That’s important. But also, herbs/spices are concentrated sources of antioxidants and have been found to possess cancer-preventative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardio-protective properties, to name a few.
My favorite combinations as of late has been cumin + coriander + turmeric + sea salt.
I also like to chop up extra vegetables and store them in a Ziploc bag so that I can always throw in a new batch in the oven as soon as I finish the ones I roasted earlier in the week.
Sure, you can simply snack on them as is, but there are endless ways to enjoy these caramelized beauties throughout the week as well. They make a wonderful addition to sandwiches/wraps, salads, dips (love’em in hummus!)…
And put an egg on it for breakfast
Broil some cheese on top and serve alongside chicken, fish, etc.
Or puree them in a blender with some broth for a heartwarming soup
Like I said, endless possibilities, right? For the step-by-step instructions on how I roasted the veggies you see above, head on over to the Healthy Aperture Blog! And do share! What are you favorite ways to enjoy roasted veggies?