6 junio, 2024

The 11 Most Common Edible Roots Used in Cooking

The edible roots They are those that produce thickening of their roots that elongate or round a lot to end in a long and narrow filament, providing this part with a greater nutritional load and accumulated elements.

The plant world provides humans with many of the foods they consume daily. Of plants you can not only eat the fruit or the seed; there is a great variety of plants of which the root can be eaten.

Among the characteristics that edible roots share, we find that they are plants that send nutrients to their roots during the first year and from the root the plant manages to nourish the flowers and fruits.

There are 3 varieties of plants with edible roots: tubers, rhizomes, and root plants or vegetables.

Very Popular Edible Roots

1- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is a plant native to the Indomalaya area. Its cultivation dates back to ancient times, in regions such as China and some European territories.

Ginger forms from an underground rhizome from which the stem grows with the rest of the plant. It can reach up to a meter in height.

It is recommended in decoction, infusion and pharmacological preparations such as powder, oleoresin, syrup, tincture and capsules. It is also used in the kitchen for its spicy and pleasant flavor; It is used as a condiment and complement in infusions or juices.

In medicine it is used for the treatment of the digestive system. The fresh rhizome can be used against vomiting, coughing, abdominal distension and pyrexia.

The properties of ginger have been recognized for throat conditions and infections due to its antibiotic and antifungal effect.

2- Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Root native to Asia, where it has been used as medicine, essence and ink. It is estimated that it has properties similar to that of ginger.

It is used to restore the balance of the body. For external use, turmeric tincture prepared with alcohol, in friction, calms rheumatic pain.

It serves as a diuretic, is used in the treatment of liver diseases, to regulate menstruation and to reduce labor pains.

It is recommended as an eye wash, flu remedy, antispasmodic, digestive and emollient, and as a vermifuge for both humans and elephants.

3- Carrot (Daucus carota)

Considered native to Asia, its cultivation has spread throughout the world. Biennial development, long root, orange in color, with a small stem from which wrinkled and green leaves emerge.

Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A-like carotenoids that have been shown to help repair damaged skin. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease and is used in the kitchen raw in salads and cooked.

4- Cassava (manihot esculenta)

It is native to the Latin American tropics, where it developed much of its genetic diversity. It has around 150 species, and among them we find trees up to 15 meters.

Cassava is mainly used as food, it must be cooked until soft. In Indonesia, cassava is grown with rubber and oil palm, used as shade in the establishment of new cocoa plantations, and starch can be extracted from it.

5- Pope (Solanum tuberosum)

The potato is native to the Andes mountain range, in the Andean highlands, and can be found up to 4,300 meters above sea level.

It belongs to the Solanaceae family, it is an edible tuber from which comes a stem with abundant oval leaves. Variable size depending on the species.

The potato is the fourth most important crop worldwide, cultivated in more than 100 countries. It contains high-quality protein and has all the essential amino acids and vitamin C.

In Europe at an industrial level it is used in the production of vodka, whiskey, starch and other industries use it as fast food (French fries) and chips (flakes).

6- Beet (Beta vulgaris crassa)

Beetroot is native to India. It is a plant with a fleshy and large root, the edible part. The root is spherical and globose, its color varies between pink and purple, but the pulp is deep red and the flavor is sweet. Green stems and leaves grow from the root.

It is used in the kitchen raw in salads or cooked for different dishes. Its taste is sweet.

The root has been used to combat toothache. Beets provide a rich source of vitamin C and folic acid, as well as being high in potassium.

7- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Licorice is native to Europe and Africa, being used for 3000 years. It has a main root that can reach a palm in length from which others emerge that extend underground up to 1 or 2 meters, with the approximate thickness of a finger. From its main stem underground branches or horizontal rhizomes are born.

It is mainly used as a medicine and sweetener in the treatment of stomach ulcers, also used against asthma and dry cough. It is anti-inflammatory and also relaxes the mucous membranes.

8- Radish (Raphanus sativus)

The radish is native to Asia. The useful part is the thickened, succulent root of reddish, pink, white or combined external color.

It is used as an ingredient in fresh salads, it is healthy because it is very low in calories, high in vitamin C, and its cellulose contributes beneficially to the intestinal bolus.

9- Parsnips (brassica rapa)

It has been for years a wild plant in the temperate zones of Europe. It is a vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley.

It is a biennial plant, its long tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh, its leaves are imparipinnate, with jagged edges and encircling petioles.

It is used in cooking and was used as a sweetener before the advent of cane sugar.

10- Ginseng (panax ginseng)

Etymologically it means remedy against all ills or diseases. It is native to the mountainous areas of Asia, especially Korea, Japan, and Eastern Russia.

It is used as a medicine to combat exhaustion and weakness, to reduce blood cholesterol, is digestive and stimulates the immune system.

It is also used as an aphrodisiac, to strengthen sexual activity, vigor and concentration, against aging, insomnia, nervous tension and stress.

11- Valerian (Valerian officialis)

It is native to Europe and Asia where it generally grows in humid places rich in smoke. Its unpleasant odor attracts cats and rats.

It is an herbaceous vine with white to very light cream flowers. Valerian root or cat plant is indicated for temporary situations of mild nervous tension and difficulty falling asleep.

In compresses it can relieve muscle cramps, it has many properties but it is known as a tranquilizer. It can treat epilepsy, anxiety, tiredness, intellectual exhaustion, insomnia and headaches.

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