Eat Empowered Healthy Eating Tips

5 Underrated, Nutritious Root Vegetables to Add to Your Diet

By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN

When it comes to root vegetables, sweet potatoes and carrots consistently steal the spotlight.

They’re nutrient-dense, common, delicious, and super easy to cook with. What more could you ask for in a fall-friendly veggie, really?

RECIPE: Carrot Ginger Squash Soup for Chilly Day Dinners

But loving the orange stars of the underground doesn’t mean you have to ignore all of the other amazing produce growing beneath the dirt. Get to know these underrated root vegetables, now, and your roasting game will get a lot more interesting (and impressive).

5 Underrated Root Vegetables



Parsnips kind of look like white carrots, are an excellent source of vitamin C, and also contain fiber and calcium. They have a sweet, earthy flavor and are great for soups or roasting, like in this recipe alongside carrots and chickpeas.


Turnips are rich in carotenoids, the same powerful antioxidants that give sweet potatoes their good name. And don’t toss the greens—they’re a great source of vitamin E. They also have the most mild flavor of the root veggies, so they’re very versatile in the kitchen. Try them with Brussels sprouts and apple in this genius fall salad.

RELATED: Why Are Antioxidants So Important?

root vegetables


Rutabagas are crazy high in vitamin C and are incredibly mineral dense, delivering magnesium, calcium, and iron. They look a little bit like beets with a lighter purple and white hue (so you don’t have to worry about staining your kitchen magenta!). Their flavor is pretty mild and one popular way to eat them is mashed, for a healthier version of mashed potatoes. (They are much lower in both calories and carbs compared to white potatoes.)


This large, knobby tuber is popular in South American countries like Brazil and tastes like a more flavorful, dense white potato. (It’s also referred to as yuca and cassava, FYI!) It’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They work well as fries if you cut them into strips or wedges and bake them and they’re increasingly being used in healthy-leaning packaged foods like Cassava Crunch chips. Bonus: Cassava flour is great for gluten-free baking.

RELATED: 6 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Gluten-Free Baking

Celeriac/Celery Root

Important: We are not talking about the celery stalks you fill with peanut butter for your kids come snack time. Celeriac (AKA celery root) is an ugly, knobby vegetable that grows beneath said stalks, but its flavor is still similar to the one you’re used to. It contains fiber, vitamin C, and is higher in protein than most veggies. Use it in stews and soups, grate it raw into salads, or  turn it into a brilliant vegan “steak.”

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