“You’re not leaving the table until you eat your greens!” Growing up, many of us have heard variations of this threat from our parents when faced with the dreaded task of eating those bland, soggy vegetables piled on our plate. Eating vegetables will become less of a chore and more of a treat if you start implementing this week’s Be Better challenge: roasting vegetables!
Roasted vegetables are not only delicious, but also healthy and easy to make! While some nutrients, like vitamin C and some B vitamins, are slightly compromised by cooking with high heat, other nutrients actually become easier for the body to absorb. For example, tomatoes, when roasted, have higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant with many cardiovascular benefits. Cooked carrots have higher levels of carotenoids, which decrease the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. Despite losing some nutrients, roasted vegetables are still full of fiber, low in calories, and rich in minerals.
Roasting vegetables requires minimal ingredients; all you really need is some olive oil, salt and pepper, and any additional seasonings of your choice. Simply choose your vegetables, spread them out on a cooking sheet, add your oil and spices, and stick them in the oven.
Here are some of the most commonly roasted veggies, along with the amount of time that best suits them (cooked at 400-425 degrees):
Asparagus – 20 minutes
Bell Peppers – 20 minutes
Broccoli – 25 minutes
Brussels Sprouts (halved) – 25 minutes
Butternut Squash – 30 minutes
Cabbage (cut into 1-inch thick slices) – 30 minutes
Carrots (cut into 1-inch chunks or baby carrots)- 30 minutes
Cauliflower – 25 minutes
Corn (cobs left whole with husks) – 40 minutes
Green Beans – 20 minutes
Kale – 15 minutes (it doesn’t need to be in a single layer)
Onions – 35 minutes
Potatoes (russet, red, yukon) – 45 minutes
Sweet Potatoes – 30 minutes
Tomatoes (grape or cherry) – 15 minutes
Yellow Squash – 20 minutes
Zucchini – 20 minutes