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Healthy Roasted Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
sweet potatoes cauliflower and asparagus on table

Here are three main reasons why people enjoy roasted side dishes:

  1. They are delicious. Roasting foods in a hot oven allows vegetables to caramelize. When roasted, vegetables release condensation. Cooking them in the oven on high heat helps to speed up evaporation of their water content. Rather than steam, vegetables cooked in a hot and dry environment caramelize. This allows the sugars to turn golden brown and form tasty flavors.
  2. They are easy to prepare. The nice thing about making roasted vegetables as a side dish is that they don’t require much preparation. Not only can the washing and cutting of vegetables be done in advance, but they only need very simple seasonings like salt and pepper, if any at all. Plus, the cooking technique requires minimal attention, mainly keeping an eye on them in the oven and occasionally turning veggies for even roasting.
  3. They are nutritious. Per Wellness for the Win, vegetables contain “…phytochemicals and antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and help fight off disease.” And Market Basket explains that roasting vegetables helps them retain their heart-healthy fiber and vitamins and minerals for fighting disease.

Let’s jump to it – Here are some of our favorite vegetables to roast:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tri-colored carrots

Steps to roasting vegetables:

Preheat the oven to 400 or 425 degrees. High heat promotes caramelization.

Meanwhile, wash and prep your favorite vegetables or vegetable combos by cutting them into large bite-size pieces or uniform size. (Tip: Always use a sharp knife for cutting. This avoids applying too much pressure which may increase the odds of self-injury.)

Toss vegetables in minimal amounts of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper or your favorite herbs to include any of the following examples: Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and more! 

Spread the vegetables onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. (Vegetables should fill the pan but be spread out in a single layer.)

Place baking sheet in the preheated oven. Roasting times may vary depending upon vegetable types and their size. (Tip: Note that most roasted vegetables take about a half hour, but some denser vegetables require longer cooking times.)

Watch vegetables and turn them halfway through cooking time for even roasting. Vegetables will be tender and golden when done.

Tip: It’s easiest to cook vegetables together with compatible roasting times. If not, one may burn before the other is done. For example, asparagus tends to roast faster than sweet potatoes. Thus, one may add the asparagus to the sheet pan a bit later or roast them separately with other quick cooking veggies.

Here’s the deal:

Roasted vegetables can be served as a main plate or alongside meat. Because they are fast, easy, and delicious to prepare, they make excellent side dishes for holiday gatherings such as Thanksgiving. Not only are roasted vegetables low-fat, but they are packed with fiber and nutritious vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial for health. To learn about organic vegetables, visit our related article entitled, Are organic vegetables worth the money?

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