A light meal, or the perfect side dish for springtime!
As we enter the warmer months, we will have more access to fresh, seasonal, and local produce like the vegetables in this recipe.
This flavorful, colorful dish provides us with essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, that our bodies need each day.
Additionally, the phytochemicals, like chlorogenic acid and kaempferol, found in these vegetables can help to prevent our cells from damage, protect us from disease, supporting both our physical and mental health (1).
According to research, most Americans do not consume enough vegetables, so try preparing a variety at each meal, like this recipe, to boost your intake each day.
Health Benefits of this Dish
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), a sweet and starchy root vegetable, come in many sizes and colors and provide us with necessary nutrients like vitamins, and minerals as well as antioxidants, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, for healthy vision, immune function, and reproduction, and vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production, wound healing and is used in the body as an antioxidant to protect our cells from damage (2) (3) (4). In addition to beta-carotene and vitamin C, sweet potatoes also contain chlorogenic acid, a polyphenol with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-obesity effects which can lead to improvement of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (5) (6). Purple sweet potato anthocyanins were found to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and impede the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria, like Clostridium histolyticum present in soil and feces, that can lead to disease processes in the body (7).
Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea) are cruciferous vegetables that look like tiny cabbage. Although low in calories, this vegetable is rich in vitamin K and C, as well as fiber (8). Dietary fiber has been associated with a healthy gut microbiome, optimal body weight, and overall metabolic health which can reduce our risk for developing diseases like cardiovascular disease (10). Studies have shown that compounds found in Brussels sprouts can protect against DNA damage from carcinogens, which can inhibit cancer growth (9). Additionally, Brussels sprouts contain the phytochemical kaempferol, which can increase the body’s antioxidant defense against free radicals, modulate key cell signaling pathways, and protect us from cancer cell growth (11).
Roasted Spring Vegetables with Rosemary Recipe:
1 tbsp. avocado oil, divided
6 carrots, quartered lengthwise
2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
1 head cauliflower florets
2 green onions, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Rosemary, dried
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and ½ tbsp. avocado oil. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Then toss the cauliflower, onions, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, and spices with the remaining oil and add these to the baking sheet with the other veggies, stir to combine. Roast for an additional 20-30 minutes and then enjoy!
Here’s another spring veggie recipe.