November 8, 2012
Thanksgiving Root Vegetables: Decoded and Delicious
Root vegetables are a underrated food group. With so many similar looking and sounding roots to choose from, it’s hard to know what’s what. With Thanksgiving swiftly approaching, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to sort a few things out among these ambiguous roots so common at Thanksgiving tables.
Turnip vs. Parsnip
Turnips are white in color and comparable in shape to a beet, while a parsnip looks more like a carrot. Turnips are rather bitter, though their leaves make excellent side dishes as turnip greens. Raw, parsnips taste like a carrot (though they’re much higher in potassium, dietary fibers, and other vitamins) and are excellent in soup.
Butternut Squash vs. Spaghetti Squash
You’ll know it’s spaghetti squash when it forms little ribbons when it’s cooked. Use spaghetti squash as alternative to pasta if you’re on a gluten-free/low carb kick. Butternut squash is a bit sweeter and is best when it’s pureed or made into a soup.
Sweet Potato vs. Yam
Let’s say this one together: sweet potatoes are not yams. Sweet potatoes’ yellow flesh is much lighter than that of a yam; it actually resembles your average potato. Yams are dark orange, moist in texture with a dark skin. They make a fantastic mash and are often turned into yam fries, which are like french fries 2.0.