Skip to main content

What to do with root vegetables from your garden’s harvest

As summer harvest begins to slow down, you might notice some of your fall root vegetables are almost ready for harvest. For many gardeners, the harvest season is both exciting and daunting. It’s exciting to see all that hard work pay off and finally get to enjoy the veggies of your labors. However, often many plants will be ready to harvest simultaneously, which can feel overwhelming. Spending all day in the garden pulling up root veggies is a highlight to your gardening career, but then you go into the kitchen and see a mountain of food that needs to be eaten. In addition to that, you probably still have more left to harvest.

So what do you do with all of these root veggies? How do you handle the harvest? How do you reduce the number of veggies that go to waste or rot before you get around to eating them? We think the best thing you can do to overcome harvest overwhelm is to prepare ahead of time. Educate yourself on all the ways a veggie can be used, prepare recipes you want to try, invest in cans and jars for preserving, and ask around to see who would be interested in taking some extra harvest off your hands. The more prepared you are before those veggies start ripening, the better off you’ll be once they take over your kitchen.

Related Videos

Roast your root veggies

Roasting root vegetables is probably the most popular way to enjoy these healthy crops. It’s easy and lends to the most authentic flavor the plant has to offer. We recommend dicing the veggies into small cubes, tossing in olive oil and salt and pepper, then adding any fresh or dried herbs you like. Our favorites are thyme and rosemary. These can be eaten as a snack, on top of a fall-inspired salad, or as a side with a deliciously slow-cooked chuck roast.

beets in a bunch

Mash some root veggies

Mashed potatoes are an obvious choice when deciding what to do with your potato harvest, but those aren’t the only root veggies that are delicious when mashed. You can also mash sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and more. These are all tremendous mashed and eaten on their own, or you could use a various mixture of them and create a root veggie mash to accompany your steak.

Grill those root veggies

Pulling out the grill isn’t just for summer BBQs! There are plenty of ways you can fire up the grill for winter meals as well, as long as there isn’t too much snow on the ground and you can handle the cooler temps. If you’ve never grilled your veggies before, you might want to try this grilled carrot with avocado and mint recipe. It’s a great side or even just a snack.

Slow cook root veggies

If you love throwing a bunch of stuff in the crockpot and walking away, you’ll love this recipe for slow-cooked, glazed root vegetables. Don’t worry too much about what to serve for dinner when you can throw a handful of your fall harvest in with some stock, herbs, and spices and come home to a house that smells amazing! Serve with a fillet of fish or a pork chop.

Make fries with root veggies

Don’t listen to what they say; burgers aren’t just for summer! However, you might want to try a new way to make fries. Baked sweet potato fries are a delicious way to change up the typical burger and fries. But you don’t have to eat these with a burger. They also make a great snack for after school or as a replacement for chips in a lovely dish of fish and chips.

sweet potato fries

Bake chips out of root veggies

We all know how bad chips are for our health, but what if you could have your afternoon snack fix, make it healthy, and use up some fall harvest root veggies? It sounds like a win-win-win-win! So try out these fantastic oven-baked beet chips, and your gut will thank you later. You can eat them on their own, with a hot sandwich, or dipped in some hummus.

Fry some hashbrowns with root veggies

Cereal or yogurt just doesn’t cut it for breakfast when those chilly mornings roll around. So instead, try making your own hashbrowns with potatoes, beets, or even carrots. Fry up an egg with these hashbrowns, and you’re sure to look forward to breakfast again.

Bake gratin out of root veggies

It’s probably safe to say that we all try to make good decisions regarding our health and the type of foods we put into our bodies. While that’s an amazing thing and something we encourage, there are times to indulge in food that isn’t good for your arteries but good for your soul. That’s what these creamy and cheesy au gratin potatoes are. The ultimate comfort food with cheese and potatoes; you can’t go wrong.

Blend some soups with root veggies

Soups are one of the best ways you can use up a lot of produce in one dish. This Thai ginger carrot soup calls for three cups of carrots! Not only will you use up some produce, but you’ll also have an amazing soup to accompany a sandwich or wrap at lunchtime. It’s also a beautiful orange color!

Before the crazy harvest time overcomes you, take the time to prepare some ideas of how you’ll make the most of it. While us gardeners love the act of gardening, let’s not forget that all our efforts are for a big and delicious harvest at the end of the season.

Editors' Recommendations

How long do Christmas trees last? Here are our tips on keeping them fresh for a long time
Everything to know about choosing a Christmas tree and caring for it
Christmas tree by the fireplace

When you bring home a Christmas tree, the last thing you want to happen is for it to die before Christmas. Not only are fresh trees expensive, but they're also challenging and time consuming to set up. So how do you keep a Christmas tree looking and smelling its best throughout winter? How long does a Christmas tree last? The answer is at least five weeks, granted you give it the proper care.

There's always, of course, the option to buy a fake tree. Faux holiday trees are often affordable, easy to set up, and reusable, but they just don't have the same look and feel as a real tree. Here, we'll go over the ways you can ensure your Christmas tree will be healthy and happy all through your holiday festivities!

Read more
The 6 best types of Christmas trees to fill your home with holiday cheer
Everything you need to know about the most popular Christmas trees
Decorating a Christmas tree

Decorating for the holidays is so fun, and it's something the whole family can take part in. Choosing the Christmas tree is often an activity that families especially look forward to. And you can make a full day of it, bringing the entire family to pick out the perfect tree together.

This tradition is a fun way to spend time together and ensure everyone feels included in the festivities. But how do you know which tree is best for your situation? There are many types of Christmas trees to choose from, so it can be hard to understand how to narrow them down.

Read more
From mini Christmas trees to ivy wreaths, here are the best small holiday season foliage picks
Great small-space alternatives to Christmas trees this winter
Frosty fern

Sure, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the epitome of holly jolly winter foliage, but large Christmas trees don’t need to be the sole focus during the holidays. There are plenty of different ways to incorporate greenery into your December festivities that don’t involve lugging home a 6-foot-tall commitment that sheds all month long.

If you live in a small space or don’t want to budget out money for a tree, you can certainly tap into the Christmas joy with a small potted tree or houseplant! Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite mini Christmas tree alternatives.

Read more