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Maple Roasted Root Vegetables with Cashews

Roasting root vegetables intensifies their colour and sweetness and is a healthy, cosy comfort food when the days get misty and colder. The variety of vegetables gives a range of vitamin and mineral benefits and good fibre. You can vary the recipe and include a few peeled pears and reduce the quantity of maple syrup. Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 4 parsnips, peeled
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 4 beetroots, peeled
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 turnips, scrubbed and halved
  • 200gm whole cashews
  • 160ml olive oil
  • 80ml maple syrup
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6
  • Cut the prepared vegetables into rough slices or cut lengthways and quarter. Place the root vegetables in a single layer on one or two large baking sheets.
  • Stir together the oil, maple syrup and garlic cloves and brush over the roots to coat them thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for about 1 hour until the roots are done and a little caramelized from the syrup.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and gently heat the cashews until they are slightly brown.
  • Serve roots, spooning any of the juices over and scatter over roasted cashews. Serve with a green salad and goats cheese or as a roast dinner side dish.

The combination of root vegetables makes this a high fibre recipe and something to benefit anyone with sluggish bowel motility while benefitting everyone with the right soluble and insoluble fibre to feed the healthy gut bacteria we need for multiple , blood fats and blood glucose, and reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer. They are known for their concentrations of vitamin C, B and A as well as their level of health-promoting antioxidants. They help reduce inflammation.

Just scrubbed and roasted with their skins maximises their goodness retaining more of their vitamins. They are low in calories and any leftovers can used on a green leafy salad of rocket and watercress.

Lentils are high in protein, fibre, magnesium, polyphenols which are micronutrients that are thought to improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management, difficulties, diabetes, neurogenerative disease and cardiovascular disease. Also containing folic acid which helps the body to produce and maintain new cells and for certain types of anaemia while being a good source of iron, a mineral vital to your health because all our cells contain iron but most of the iron in the body is in our red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen from our lings to the organs and tissues throughout the whole body. Iron has a role creating energy from nutrients.

Cashew nuts are actually seeds and they have a lower fat content than mostothernuts with over82% of these being heart healthy unsaturated fatty acids. They score highly with antioxidants, magnesium and copper. Studies show that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight. So easy to include in your diet as a healthy snack, sprinkled over your cereal, salad or vegetables, use in crumble toppings, vegetable roasts. Nuts are a healthy addition in everyone’s weekly diet.