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Starchy Vegetables

Limit to 1 serving a day if you are trying to lose weight

Acorn squash is a winter squash with long ridges and sweet, nutty yellow orange flesh. Acorn squash contains vitamin A, niacin, folate, thiamine and vitamin B-6, and is an especially good source of vitamin C.  Eating acorn squash can help boost your immune system, improve vision, digestion, and skin health.  Acorn squash can be enjoyed roasted, steamed, and sauteed. It can be put into salads, as a delicious side dish to your main course, or eaten on their own.  


Beets are root vegetables with red fleshy roots and flavorful, edible greens. The red fleshy roots are rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure.  Beets are a great source of betalains. These are the phytonutrients that give beets their bright red color.  They are anti-inflamatory and antioxidant and offer detox support.   Just be sure to eat beets in moderation.  Besides their beneficial nutrients, they are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Beets can be steamed or roasted or used raw in soup.


Butternut Squash has a sweet, nutty taste similar to a pumpkin. It has yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp. It is low in fat, and contains dietary fiber, making it a great heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, vital for bone health, and vitamin B6, for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. Butternut squash can be used in a variety of dishes, and it is especially popular in the fall.  It is delicious roasted with spinach, onions, and cranberries, and also can be added to a salad, or made into a delicious creamy soup.


Cassava, also known as Manioc and Yuca is a tropical root plant used in Asia. Tapioca is extracted from cassava root, which you might recognize from tapioca pudding.  As a flour, it has many food uses and is a great alternative to wheat and other grains, especially for celiac patients. One cup of boiled cassava contains 330 calories, 78 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar.  It is a low-glycemic food, which is great for diabetic patients.  Cassava contains B-complex vitamins such as  folate, thiamin, pyridoxine , pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.  WARNING: If prepared incorrectly, the cassava plant can produce cyanide, a deadly compound when consumed. Grating the root and prolonged soaking of the gratings in water will leach out the cyanide, reducing the levels of toxin.  Peel and slice cassava, then cook it thoroughly by baking, boiling, or roasting. 


Corn is a sweet vegetable that is also considered a grain.   It is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E and many minerals such as phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, and copper. It also has a high fiber content, which is said to reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Antioxidants in corn are actually increased when corn is cooked. Corn can be enjoyed on the cob, off the cob, thrown into salads and as a side dish.  


Jicama is a starchy root grown in parts of Central and South America.  It is also sometimes known as a yam bean, Mexican turnip, or Mexican water chestnut. Jicama has a sweet fruity taste that is similar to apples.  Jicama has a unique mixture of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Some of those include dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and a little bit of protein.  Its very low in sodium and calories and it contains hardly any fat, making it a staple for weight loss.  Jicama has thick skin that needs to be peeled with a knife.  It can actually be eaten raw, but also can be enjoyed baked as fries, chips, and cubes.  It also works well in salsa!


Lima beans are green in color, and have a starchy taste and a buttery texture. They are high in fiber, which means they are great for lowering cholesterol, and preventing blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating.  The high fiber content makes them great for anyone with diabetes or hypoglycemia. They are low on the glycemic index, and a rich source of copper, manganese, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, and protein.  Lima beans can be found dried in most grocery stores, but enjoy them boiled fresh as a side, or added into salads, soups, and stews.



Peas are a deliciously sweet starchy little vegetable. Peas are a great source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and folate. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, molybdenum, zinc, protein, magnesium, iron, potassium and choline. They contain anti-aging compounds and their high fiber and protein are great for blood sugar regulation.  They are delicious as a side dish to any meal, and are great mixed in with rice, and in stews.    


Plantains are a member of the banana family, but they are bigger and not sweet, greener, have thicker skin, and are cooked before serving. Unlike their sweeter counterpart, they are actually used as a vegetable. They are starchy, low in sugar and are very popular in caribbean countries. Plantains contain a high amount of potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber and phosphorous. They also contain vitamins A, C, and B-complexes. Plantains are amazing to cook with. They are usually fried, baked, made into chips, or used in any dish where a potato would be used. Try using them in place of pasta in a meat lasagna, for a delicious, healthy, and savory dish called pastelon.


Potatoes are a starchy vegetable with a mild, somewhat sweet taste. They come in many different varieties.  They contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol and almost half your daily value of vitamin C. They’re a great source of vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, and contain more potassium than a banana. To keep potatoes healthy, roast them in the oven with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika, and skip out on loading them with fats such as butter and sour cream. 


Pumpkin has so many health benefits it should be more than just a fall staple in your diet!    
One cup of pumpkin is just 49 calories and 3 grams of fiber and only 12 grams of carbohydrates. Pumpkin is also rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene , vitamin C, and vitamin E, which can help keep your vision sharp. The seeds of a pumpkin pack 1.7grams of fiber per ounce, and they are an amazing source of protein. One cup of  canned pumpkin would provides over 100% of our daily needs for vitamin A, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Use pumpkin in your morning shakes, or baked similarly to butternut squash.  Roast the seeds and use them in salads or just eat them on their own as a healthy snack!


Sweet potatoes are brown on the outside and bright orange on the inside.  They pack a delicious sweet flavor and are lower in calories and carbs, but have a higher sugar content than regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. They also contain a good amount of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. They are delicious baked as fries with salt and pepper, mashed as a side dish with cinnamon, or baked into chips. Stay away from additions such as marshmallows and brown sugar.


Taro is a starchy tuberous root with a taste similar to a sweet potato. Taro root contains a good amount of fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and folate. It also contains magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper.
Taro soaks up flavor which makes it a great addition to stews and soups. It can be used in the same cooking preparations as a potato. WARNING: Taro root is toxic in raw form due to the high content of oxalates. Cook thoroughly!



The water chestnut’s brownish-black paper-like skin resembles that of a chestnut but is not a nut at all. The water chestnut is a vegetable with a crunchy texture and mild nutty taste whether consuming them raw or cooked.  Water chestnuts contain vitamin B6, potassium, copper, riboflavin, and manganese, with an array of smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals, as well. They can be eaten raw, in salads, or used in cooking such as stir fry.  They are most commonly used in chinese dishes, mixed in with chicken, peppers, and other vegetables. 


A legume is a simple, dry fruit contained within a shed or a pod. The most well-known legumes are peas, chick peas, soy beans, beans, peanuts, and alfalfa.  Legumes are a rich source of healthy fibers and protein.  They are not only highly nutritious but also very inexpensive, which makes them an important dietary staple in many developing countries.


The most common types of legumes are beans. These beans include adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans, anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and lima beans. Many of them have a similar starchy/potatoey taste. Beans are a great food to add to your diet because they are low in fat, yet high in protein and carbohydrates. Beans are also very rich in antioxidants, fiber,  B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly is said to decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancer.  They are a delicious side dish on their own, but a great addition to stews, soups, and even southwestern style salads and burrito bowls. 


Chickpeas are part of the legume family grown in a tropical or subtropical climate. They have a nutty flavor and a slightly grainy texture.  Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo Beans are a packed with protein and rich in fiber, which means they help control your blood sugar levels.  They also contain manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.  There are many ways to enjoy chickpeas. Sprinkle a handful of them in salads, add them to rice, or stir-fry.  Use them to make hummus, or even roast them in the oven.


Lentils are a delicious high protein, low-fat legume that are an essential part of most vegetarian diets because of their nutrients. Brown lentils have a soft, chewy and earthy flavor. They are high in manganese, folate, fiber, phosphorous, copper, and iron. They help lower cholesterol, and help in managing blood-sugar disorders. They are very filling and have only 230 calories for a whole cup. Enjoy lentils on their own as a side, in vegetable dishes, and in lentil soup!


Peanuts are actually not a nut, but a legume.  They make a great snack in any diet. They are high in healthy, monounsaturated fats.  Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. They have a low glycemic index and also contain biotin, copper, and Vitamin B1. They can be enjoyed right out of the shell, boiled, or as peanut butter.  Always look for peanut butter without added extra ingredients like sugar and salt and hrdrogenated trans-fats.  Always eat them in moderation, as they are high in fat. 


Split peas are peeled and dried green peas. They are a great source of dietary fiber and a good source of manganese, copper, protein, folate, vitamin A and K, phosphorus, and choline.  Split peas are packed with potassium. 1 cup has about 710 milligrams of potassium and only 4 milligrams of sodium.  Split peas do not require soaking and can be made into delicious split pea soup.