If you ask me, the sides are the best part of a holiday spread – and I love the variety! I’ll be honest, it was a challenge not to eat this entire pan when I was cooking it up for my friends here at Farmtrue. The pop of citrus, warm spices, and hint of sweetness hit all of the right buttons! This dish is for you if you are after something fragrant, complex, and of course, nourishing. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty to set out, too.
Root vegetables are an unadulterated complex carbohydrate that we want as a part of a diverse nutrient-dense diet. They offer fiber (soluble and insoluble), phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals with every bite plus they have a low glycemic load to keep blood sugar from spiking. Plan for about ½ cup per guest at your table.
You’ll notice that I opt for dark maple syrup – that’s because it’s a better source of the minerals zinc and manganese, along with trace amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium. Minerals are the spark plugs for hundreds of reactions around the body happening at every moment of our lives, which is why I’ll always steer you towards minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods. I also just prefer its richer flavor and that little something extra it gives to my recipes. I’m seeing plenty of both sweet carrots and parsnips at the farm stands, but feel free to play a little and choose your favorite blend of root vegetables to make this recipe your own.
One last tip for those of you who consider yourself a scrappy cook (or who aspire to be): save those vegetable scraps! When you’re done with prep, scrape all of those trimmings into a freezer-safe container and store them away to add to a nice stock or broth later this fall or winter. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, this is just one way we can stretch our dollars and make the most out of what our farmers grew for us this season.
Melt the ghee in a very wide skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the carrots and parsnips in, decrease the heat to medium and fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the vegetables begin to caramelize and get color. Fork-whisk the maple syrup, orange juice, and golden milk latte together and then stir into the vegetables and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a nice glaze; about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, season with a pinch of sea salt, and serve.