Touch up your roots!
Root vegetables are tuberous veggies where the edible portion of the plant grows underground. This would include potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, onion, garlic and yams to name a few.
These veggies generally have an inherent earthy sweetness to them that can either be enhanced with sweet spices and sauces or delightfully juxtaposed by savory spices, oils, and vinegars. Pure Birch Syrup, however, can lend semi-sweetness AND fruity tang which happens to taste delicious when layered with beets, carrots, parsnips and yams especially.
#1: Combine Birch Syrup with fat for a saucy result
Birch Syrup will tend to be absorbed into foods. Due to the kind of natural fructose found in Birch Syrup, it doesn't sit on top or coat foods like sugary syrups and sauces that have added refined sugars. Sugary sauces will tend to gum up their lids or as in the case of maple syrup, leave crystalized sugar on the cap. You will never find crystalized sugar on the cap of a birch syrup bottle.
Since Birch doesn't coat food, it tends to sink into it. It is due to this absorption that Birch Syrup is touted as an excellent flavoring for cooking and baking.
It is a matter of personal preference, however, if you desire your veggies to be blanketed in a sauce or simply expertly flavored. If simply flavored is all you are after, just toss your roasted veggies in a tablespoon of birch syrup, plate and devour. If you prefer a sauce, there is a simple adaptation that will achieve it. Just add a source of healthy fat to your dish such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or even butter or margarine to the veggies first. All will achieve the same result if you coat your veggies in fat first to provide a moisture barrier, then add birch syrup and seasonings and toss to coat. The result will have both the taste and the texture that you are striving to achieve.
#2: Consider the level of natural sweetness in the vegetable
Most root vegetables have a level of sweetness naturally, except perhaps potatoes, although arguably they have a certain sweetness as well. Since Birch Syrup is semi-sweet, it enhances root veggies but does not overpower them, while adding a savory note. Birch syrup can be used instead of Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Glaze in any roasted veggie recipe as it lends a sweet tang that is reminiscent of balsamic but still very uniquely birch. Check out our Birch Flavor Tour video to learn more about birch flavor profiles and food pairings.
If roasting yams, which are generally naturally very sweet all on their own, the earthy and fruity aspects of birch will shine through because the sweetness in the Birch is not enough to compete with the yams. However, if you are cooking carrots or beets, the sweetness of the birch will come through leaving a great opportunity to layer in dimension with savory and warm spices like cumin, coriander, thyme or tarragon.
#3: Lastly, use our Amber Birch Syrup
Amber Birch Syrup has just the right amount of sweetness and zesty Birch taste to make your roasted veg dish a standout!
So, with just a few simple tricks to master you will be well on your way to making fantastic root veggies with Birch.
Below is a simple recipe guide to no fail Birch Roasted Root Veggies!
Birch Roasted Roots
NOTES: Use your preferred type of fat from any of the following choices
Preheat: 375 F
Prep Time: 15 min
Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish
3 lbs of Veggies
|Wash and peel any of the following veggies either solo or in combination: Yams, Beets, Carrots, Parsnips or turnips. Cut carrot and parsnips into 1 to 2 inch lengths. If choosing Yams, Beets or Turnips cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Add to a casserole dish that is oven safe or a large sheet pan lined in parchment paper.
|1/4 Cup of fat (adjust if desired)
|Add fat to the veggies and toss to coat the veggies thoroughly. (choose any kind of fat from the list in the "notes" at the top of the recipe.)
2 Tbsp Amber Birch Syrup
Add in the Birch Syrup and toss to coat.
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1 tsp each ground or 2 TBSP each fresh savory herbs (Thyme, Coriander, Cumin, or Tarragon)
1/2 tsp of one of the following ground sweet spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger or Cloves
Sprinkle Salt over the vegetables, and grind a little black pepper on top.
Add herbs and spices. Mix well.
Fresh herbs really are the best when it comes to roasting but ground herbs and spices will also do very well if that is what you have on hand. Which type of savory herbs you choose are really your personal preference.
Here are some winning combinations:
Bake at 375 F, uncovered for 40 - 45 min, stirring every 15 mins to ensure veggies roast evenly, stay coated and don't dry out. Roast to taste, but always better to remove from oven when they are still a bit firm so they don't squash when you serve them.