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Prepping & Storing Root Vegetables

An overhead photo of a plate with four sections. Each section has slices of root vegetables cut into wedges

Pictured above from left to right: daikon radish, purple mu radish, kohlrabi, and rainbow carrots.


Have a makeshift root cellar?

Root vegetables do fine in the refrigerator, but an overcrowded produce drawer can feel overwhelming. A cool basement in the late fall and winter can be a useful place to store excess root vegetables. Lay them out flat (not piled on one another) in a dry box, loosely covered, and try not to forget them. If you don’t have a basement, keep surplus roots in a cool, dark place with good circulation. Move older veggies to your produce drawer as soon as you have space so they are not “out of sight, out of mind.”

 

Prepping roots for munchin’ & lunchin’

Sometimes root veggies look like an indistinguishable mound of gnarly, muddy lumps and you may think the only thing to do is roast them. Roasting is a great way to utilize them, but you can also eat root vegetables raw in sandwiches and wraps or dip them in hummus or your favorite creamy dressing. The nice thing about doing this is you can get to know what each tastes like individually. For example, chioggia beets are really sweet and are great for dipping as are daikon radishes. I have always baked kohlrabi but recently learned that it is great raw as well. 

 

Washing, prepping, and storing a variety of root vegetables in an air-tight container, makes it super convenient to eat them raw and on the go. Submerge them in cool water to help them stay crunchy and change the water every four or five days.

 

Sliced root vegetables submerged in water in a tupperware container

Pictured here left to right: carrots, daikon radish and chioggia “candy cane” beets.

 

To peel or not to peel?

Two types of radishes and a carrot laying on a wooden cutting board ready to be peeled and chopped

Root vegetables are a hardy bunch, which means their skins can be kind of homely sometimes. If they were not organically grown, it’s probably best just to peel them. If they were organically grown, you can use your judgment based on their appearance and choose to either scrub lightly and then peel, or scrub a lot and leave the skins on. The benefit being added nutrition. I sometimes take a hybrid approach with carrots and scrub, and then peel the darker sections and leave the rest. In general, I would lean toward peeling when planning to eat them raw, especially when storing them in water. 

 

Cut off the roots and the greens and then slice the veggies up in dippable, munchable shapes.

 

What is this vegetable and what do I do with it?!

 

Sometimes at the farmer’s market or in a CSA box you may come across a vegetable you’ve never seen before. Or perhaps you know the name of a vegetable but you’ve never cooked with it and aren’t sure what to do with it. That’s where our Veggie Gallery comes in handy! CLICK HERE to visit the gallery.

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Since you found your way to this post, we think you should consider joining our Facebook group community. Members share tips & tricks, recipes, ideas and answer each other’s questions about making the most of what you have and, of course, eating lots of locally-grown veggies. Please join us!

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