The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and parsley. Parsnips are native to Europe and Asia and were introduced to North America in the 17th century. Larger parsnips can have a woody texture, but smaller roots have a tender texture and sweet flavor.
Parsnips’ hearty texture stands up well to roasting. Try combining it with carrots, beets and sweet potatoes seasoned with fresh rosemary, and roast until tender.
Add parsnips to your soups and stews for nutritional value. You can use parsnips in the salads combined with dried cranberries, fresh sage and vinaigrette.
- Parsnips is a great source of fiber so is very good for digestion.
- Consuming parsnips boosts your intake of Vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps body with infections and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in your body. Vitamin E helps you make red blood cells.
- Parsnips contain Vitamin K and Manganese. Both nutrients play an important role in the health of your bones.
- Parsnips contain low content of sodium and high content of potassium. Potassium helps protects you from high blood pressure, while folate helps lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
- Several components of parsnip are known to provide neurological benefits.
- Several studies have indicated that individuals with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.
- Diets that include parsnips may also help prevent hemorrhoids, obesity, stroke and diverticulitis.
Choose fresh, firm, fleshy, medium size, even surfaced parsnips. Avoid long, thin, and tail like roots and avoid, woody, over-mature ones, as they are off-flavored. Do not buy soft, shriveled, pitted, knobby, or damaged roots.
Store parsnips in a plastic bag and place in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator set between 0°C and 5°C. Do not put raw parsnips in the freezer compartment.