Updated: Jan 3, 2022
I love roasted vegetables all year round, but I particularly enjoy roasted vegetables that are in season during the winter months like brussel sprouts, winter squash, cauliflower, and root vegetables. Several of these in season vegetables happen to pair so delightfully with one of my favorite fruits too - apples! So I decided to combine some my favorite winter vegetables with apples, onion, some herbs and spices, and a delightful maple dijon dressing to make this Roasted Winter Vegetables and Apples recipe! It's sweet and savory, super healthy, and delicious served with just about anything.
Why Roast Your Veggies?
There are so many ways to prepare vegetables - blanching, steaming, stir-frying, deep-frying, braising, boiling, broiling, grilling, steam-roasting, and more - but my got to method for preparing vegetables is to roast them. What's so special about roasted veggies you ask? Well I'll tell you. And just as a warning, I'm about to get a little nerdy on you...
First off, unlike steaming, blanching, braising, or boiling, roasting is a dry-heat cooking method that doesn't involve water (unless you choose to steam roast your vegetables). When you cook vegetables in water, some of the nutrients leach out of the vegetables and into the water or liquid. This means that some of the vitamins and minerals naturally found in the vegetables you are cooking will remain in the liquid rather than the vegetable itself after you've cooked them.
Second, although roasting is similar to baking, roasting is typically done at a much higher temperature than baking (usually between 400oF and 450oF) which helps to vegetables to become brown and caramelized, bringing out more of the flavor and sweetness of the vegetables. Additionally, unlike baking, roasting usually involves coating the vegetables in some kind of fat source like oil, melted butter, or a dressing of some kind. This adds flavor and helps the veggies to crisp up. For my Roasted Winter Vegetables and Apples I use a homemade maple dijon dressing to coat the apples and veggies as the fat source.
So... If you want your veggies to be super flavorful and nutrient rich, roasting is a great method for you to try and making this recipe is the perfect place to start!
Add More Flavor and Fiber to Your Diet
As a dietitian, I try to make recipes that are both delicious and beneficial for your health. This Roasted Winter Vegetables and Apples recipe is a wonderful side dish that is full of a variety of flavors AND beneficial nutrients including dietary fiber; heart healthy fats; energizing carbohydrates; vitamins A, C, K, and B6; a variety of minerals; antioxidants; and dietary fiber.
Did you know that most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet? The daily fiber intake recommendation for adults under the age of 50 is 25 g/day for women and 38 g/day for men.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes are all good sources of fiber. Fiber consumption is important as it plays a beneficial role in digestive health, weight management, promotes fullness, and may help reduce your risk certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancers.
Adding fiber rich vegetable and/or fruit dishes like these Roasted Winter Vegetables and Apples to your regular meal rotation these tasty is a great way to try something new and flavorful while promoting your health! For more on the benefits of consuming vegetables and ways to incorporate them into your regular routine, check out my post 5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Vegetable Intake.
More fiber rich, seasonal recipes for you to try:
What’s in This Recipe?
Brussel sprouts – rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber and contains the phytochemical glucosinolate
Butternut squash – starchy vegetable that contains vitamins A, C, and B6; potassium, magnesium, manganese, energizing carbohydrates, fiber
Sweet potato – starchy vegetable that contains vitamin A, energizing carbohydrates, and fiber
Red onion – contains the antioxidant quercetin
Gala apple – complex carbohydrates (keep the peel on for more fiber)
Avocado oil – contains monounsaturated fats, has a high smoke point (520oF) making it ideal for high heat cooking
Maple syrup – natural sweetener, rich in manganese
Apple cider vinegar – comes from apples, provides acid and enhances flavor
Balsamic vinegar – comes from grapes, provides acid and enhances flavor
Dijon mustard – adds flavor
Seasonings – salt, dried rosemary, Italian herb blend, and black pepper
Notes: This recipe is naturally dairy free, vegan, nut free, and gluten free.
Roasted Winter Vegetables and Apples
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 45 minutes Servings: 4 servings
2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
2 cups cube butternut squash
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 gala apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped into 1-2” pices
2 tbsp. avocado oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. Italian herb blend
Black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400oF. Line a baking sheet with a lip with parchment paper or a silpat.
In a mason jar, make the maple dijon dressing by combining the avocado oil, maple syrup, both types of vinegar, dijon mustard, and seasonings. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously to mix.
Add the brussel sprout halves, cubed butternut squash, cubed sweet potato, and chopped apple to a medium to large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the maple dijon dressing and mix until well coated.
Toss the coated vegetables and apples on the lined baking sheet. Make sure the brussel sprouts are flat side down.
Roast the veggie and apple mixture for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until a fork slides through the sweet potato easily.
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