Root Vegetables Bolivar MO

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Langford Farms
(417) 326-3328
Bolivar, MO
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Domata Living Flour
(417) 770-4522
P.O. Box 10
Fair Play, MO
Happy Hollow Farm, LLC
(660) 849-2430
17199 Happy Hollow Rd.
Jamestown, MO

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Bear Creek Farms
(417) 282-5894
12595 NE 50 Road
Osceola, MO

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Fair Shares CCSA
5021 Northrup
St. Louis, MO

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Prairie of the Rock
(417) 761-0300
Halfway, MO
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Strawberry Lane Farm
Trenton, MO

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Briarcliff Village Farmer's Market GreenAcres Market
(816) 746-0010
4175 N. Mulberry
Kansas City, MO
Parker Farms Natural Meats
(816) 470-3276
Richmond, MO

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Danjo Farms Country Store
(660) 263-1043
1210 Private Road 2717
Moberly, MO

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Buried Treasures

Affordable, readily available and packed with nutrients and fiber, root vegetables
are enjoying a renaissance among health-conscious consumers in a down economy.

By Patrick Dougherty

October 2009

We humans have always been good at figuring out how to stay alive when times were tough. Many ancient cultures found salvation in hard times by cultivating tuberous roots, which helped save them from famine and sustained them during colder months. Some 4,000 years ago, root vegetables were important currency for travelers of the Silk Road (a trade route connecting Asia with the Mediterranean, northeast Africa and Europe), and were critical staples in areas where rice cultivation was impossible, according to Laura Kelley, author of the newly published The Silk Road Gourmet (I Universe).

But root vegetables are more than just sustenance. As the “storage bin” for a plant’s nutrients, they are health-promoting powerhouses. “Although each root vegetable has its own nutritional makeup, as a group they are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, potassium and antioxidants,” says Kelly Morrow, MS, RD, a nutrition clinic coordinator at Bastyr University Center for Natural Health in Seattle. “In fact, potatoes are among the highest in potassium of any fruit or vegetable commonly eaten in this country, while orange root vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.”

Throw in a surprisingly vibrant range of colors, oft-discarded greens with nutrition and taste to rival the roots and nearly limitless culinary uses, and it becomes clear that each of these root vegetables is a buried treasure waiting to be unearthed and enjoyed.

Sweet and crisp, carrots contain some of the highest levels of beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A) available in a single food source. Also loaded with vitamin C and potassium, carrots offer their highest nutritional value when lightly cooked because the outer fiber breaks down to enable easier nutrient absorption.

Kitchen Notes: With the highest levels of beta-carotene and minerals located just under the skin’s surface, unpeeled carrots will yield the most nutrition. Store them away from apples and pears, which release gases that can cause carrots to become bitter.

Varieties: Carrot varieties literally range from A to Z (Akaroa Long Red to Zino). While we’re most familiar with bright orange carrots, wild carrots feature colors from pale tan to deep purple.

This colorful root contains the highest sugar content of all vegetables and is packed with vitamins A, B and C, along with potassium and a spectrum of other minerals. Beets are also considered blood cleansers and builders.

Kitchen Notes: Boiling cause nutrient loss, so steam beets in their skins. Raw beets have a crunchy texture that becomes soft and buttery when they are cooked. Beet greens are often discarded, but they too contain abundant nutrients and rich flavor.


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