Root Veggie Abundance

20160910_113257 It’s that time of year when we’re digging up all our root veggies and trying to figure out what to do with this much!  Root vegetables do store well for quite a long time, and especially if you have a basement with a cold storage space you can keep a large harvest for several months.  However, many of us in Canmore live in tiny condos and apartments without basements, yards, or much storage of any kind.  So when we have more than what fits in our fridge we tend to share, which is awesome.  In fact, the veggies in these photos came from my neighbour’s Mom’s garden – YUMM!  With a little planning, and a day set aside for food prep, you can be eating your veggies well into winter, and reduce food waste.

If you have a deep freeze, you can roast your root vegetables and freeze them for quick meals later on.  I don’t advise using potatoes, they don’t tend to freeze as well, but turnips, parsnips, carrots and beets work really well.

Wash, trim and peel as needed.  Chop into 1 inch or smaller pieces.  Put in a casserole 20160910_115118dish, toss with a bit of olive oil and roast, covered, between 350-400 degrees, checking once in a while.  You can give it a stir  if you wish.  They are done when they are nicely carmelized and a bit soft.  You can also roast your veggies on the barbeque in a thick metal pan.  Careful the bottom doesn’t scorch.  Freeze in 2 to 3 cup portions for later use in soups, stews, lasagna, casseroles, vegetable pies, moussaka, and anything else you can think of!

Quick And Hearty 10 Minute Soup:  in a large saucepan, saute an onion or a couple of shallots until carmelized along with your favorite herb – I like sage – add 2 cups roasted root vegetables and stir a few times, add 3 cups broth, salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil then puree your soup.  Add more broth or water if needed.

Use your favorite carrot cake or muffin recipe to make Root Veggie cake or muffins. Any crunchy sweet root vegetable, whatever you have, can work.  This will freeze well.

Beet Pate freezes well too.  Freeze it in 1 to 1-1/2 cup portions to thaw for a quick treat or potluck dish.  Try using turnips or parsnips or a mixture of veggies.

Canning:  beets and carrots are especially popular pickled or canned.

Drying:  Dehydrating will give your harvest a long shelf life in your cupboard.  Try making your own Root Vegetable Chips as a snack or for garnishing salads and soups.

What are your favorite ways to store your root vegetable harvest?

Food Sovereignty Resources

Thanks to everyone who came out to the garden talk last night!  I’ve posted a few links to follow up on the request to share some resources on food sovereignty. There’s lots out there but here are a few starting places:

For those interested in further exploring what food sovereignty in Canada looks like:

Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy Project for Canada is based in the concept of food sovereignty and was developed by over 3500 people across Canada:

Food Secure Canada is a national organization working to advance food security and food sovereignty in Canada:

The Indigenous Food Systems Network was developed by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty: 9781552664438_300_450_90

Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems – a good book with a variety of chapters by different authors about various aspects of food sovereignty in Canada:

National Farmers Union – Losing Our Grip for further information on land grabs in Canada and an update on the 2010 report “Losing Our Grip: How Corporate Farmland Buy-up, Rising Farm Debt, and Agribusiness Financing of Inputs Threaten Family Farms and Food Sovereignty” (this link also includes further links about land grabbing and concentration in Canada):

For those interested in food sovereignty in an international context:

Nyéléni – you can sign up for the Nyéléni newsletter which provides updates and acts as a hub for the international food sovereignty movement:

You can also find the Nyéléni Declaration here which articulates the current international vision of food sovereignty:

La Via Campesina – the original grassroots movement around food sovereignty:

Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems – an online book with lots of interactive media:

Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community – a second Canadian published book on food sovereignty in the international context:

Food Sovereignty: Towards democracy in localized food systems – you can download a copy for personal use for free here:

Lastly, if you’re interested in the work I’m doing, here’s a link to my research group:

You can also find us on twitter @feast_uoft