Parsnips – A Deliciously Sweet VegetableReading time: 8 min

Parsnips have been consumed for thousands of years because they are rich in vitamins and minerals. 

They have long, cream-colored tuberous roots that are closely linked to other vegetables like carrots and parsley roots. They have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor.

Parsnips provide a distinctive flavor to your food and are also highly nutrient-dense. For this reason, it has several health advantages.

Read on and learn a little about the history of parsnips, their nutritional value, and their health benefits.

Physical description

The fleshy root of the plant known as parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is what gives the vegetable its name. It is creamy in color and often ranges in length from 20 to 30 cm.

Parsnip taste is very characteristic. It has a sweet flavor but being a carrot family and a root vegetable, it also has an earthy flavor.

History and production

Parsnips
Parsnips

Parsnips are native to Eurasia.  The plant is a member of the umbelliferous genus. Pastinaca sativa L. is its scientific name. This plant is grown for its edible root, sometimes known as a parsnip tuber.

Since it has been cultivated for so long, the meatiest and most delicious types have been gradually chosen.

It is a biennial plant with odd-pinnate leaves and a whitish taproot. The petioles are buckled, and the edges of the leaves are serrated.

The stems develop in the second year of the cycle. They have holes and ridges and produce classic umbel-shaped inflorescences.

This plant was simultaneously brought to North America by French and British colonists in Canada and the Thirteen Colonies. However, by the middle of the 19th century, the potato had supplanted it as the primary source of starch. As a result, it was less widely cultivated.

Parsnips have a powerful nutritional value which brings multiple health benefits as a consequence. Keep reading and meet them.

Nutrients of Parsnip

For a cup of 133 grams of parsnips, we can get:

Vitamins

  • Thiamin [Vitamin B1] 0.120 mg – 10 % of DV
  • Niacin [Vitamin B3] 0.931 mg – 6 % of DV
  • Riboflavin [Vitamin B2] 0.067 mg – 5 % of DV
  • Vitamin B6 0.120 mg – 7 % of DV
  • Pantothenic acid [Vitamin B5] 0.798 mg – 16 % of DV
  • Folate, food 89.11 mcg
  • Folate, DFE [Vitamin B9] 89.11 mcg – 22 % of DV
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.98 mg – 13 % of DV
  • Vitamin C [Ascorbic acid] 22.6 mg – 25 % of DV
  • Vitamin K 29.9 mcg – 25 % of DV
  • Tocopherol, alpha 1.98 mg
  • Vitamin K1 [Phylloquinone] 29.9 mcg

Minerals

  • Copper 0.16 mg – 18 % of DV
  • Calcium 47.88 mg – 4 % of DV
  • Magnesium 38.57 mg – 9 % of DV
  • Iron 0.78 mg – 4 % of DV
  • Phosphorus 94.43 mg – 8 % of DV
  • Manganese 0.745 mg – 32 % of DV
  • Selenium 2.39 mcg – 4 % of DV
  • Potassium 498.75 mg – 11 % of DV
  • Zinc 0.78 mg 7 % of DV
  • Sodium 13.30 mg – 1 % of DV

Proteins and Aminoacids

  • Protein 1.60 g – 3 % of DV

Carbohydrates

  • Carbohydrate 23.93 g – 9 % of DV
  • Sugars 6.38 g
  • Fiber 6.52 g – 23 % of DV
  • Net carbs 17.41 g

Fats and Fatty Acids

  • Saturated fatty acids 0.067 g – 0 % of DV
  • Fat 0.399 g – 1 % of DV
  • Octadecanoic acid 0.019 g
  • Hexadecanoic acid 0.040 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids 0.149 g
  • Tetradecanoic acid 0.004 g
  • Octadecenoic acid 0.136 g
  • Hexadecenoic acid 0.004 g
  • Octadecadienoic acid 0.055 g
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.063 g
  • Octadecatrienoic acid 0.004 g

Other

  • Water 105.77 g
  • Ash 1.30 g

Parsnip and its Health benefits

Has fiber soluble and insoluble

It should come as no surprise that parsnips support regularity in the digestive system given their high fiber content.

This vegetable can help with diverticulitis and gastroesophageal reflux. These are two additional disorders related to the gut.

Parsnips support a wider variety of healthy gut microorganisms because they are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber.

May support efforts to lose weight

According to research, including vegetables like parsnips in your diet will help you feel fuller and more satisfied.

Some weight loss diets are very strict and eliminate the high content of simple carbohydrates. However, some root vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips, can be eaten in moderation to aid weight loss.

Eliminating carbohydrates from the diet can be counterproductive. This strategy ignores the additional health benefits of eating these vegetables.

When parsnips are eaten whole, their structure, fiber, and water content can help reduce appetite. Also, its sweetness can be advantageous when trying to reduce other sugars in the diet.

A good source of antioxidants 

Active plant substances such as polyacetylenes, flavonoids, and falcarinol can be found in parsnips.

These antioxidants act as vasodilators, which help control blood pressure. In addition, these substances have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer effects.

May promote immune performance

One serving (80 g) of parsnips provides one-fifth of the recommended daily vitamin C intake. This makes it a valuable source of this vitamin.

One food that improves our immune systems and supports both innate and adaptive immune responses is vitamin C.

Moreover, the high antioxidant content, which includes apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin, aids in infection resistance.

Now that you know the benefits of parsnips, learn how to prepare them with these practical recipes.

Parsnip recipes

Parsnip and carrot soup

Parsnip and carrot soup

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Serving: 4-6 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 onions
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large parsnips (remove the peel)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 100 milliliters of double cream
  • 1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch parsley

Procedure

  1. Fry in hot oil the onion and celery for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until tender.
  2. Add a small splash of water, garlic, thyme, and black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Bring the vegetable stock, cut parsnips, and carrots to a boil.
  4. Stir regularly for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Mix gently with a hand mixer.
  6. Add the cream and mix one more time.
  7. Pour into bowls and, if desired, top with some chopped parsley to serve.

Crunchy parsnips

crunchy parsnips

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Serving:

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilograms of parsnip (cut the parsnips in cubes) 
  • 5 tablespoons of polenta
  • 100 milliliters of sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Set the oven to 220°C/200°F.
  2. Blanch the parsnips in hot water until they begin to soften.
  3. Drain, allow to steam dry, then pour into a large bowl.
  4. Add parsnips to the oil.
  5. Combine polenta, paprika, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss the parsnips back and forth with the previous mixture.
  7. Spread the parsnips out on a baking sheet making sure there is enough space between them.
  8. Cook in the oven, turning the parsnips for 20 to 25 minutes on each side or until golden and crisp.

In my opinion, parsnips have many nutrients that must be taken advantage of in addition to their sweet and rich flavor. Stevie Smith also loves it:

More data about parsnip:

  • The parsnip harvest is ready when the leaves begin to change in late summer or early fall.
  • Roasted parsnip es una de las recetas más fáciles de preparar con parsnips. 
  • Normally, when parsnips get woody, it’s either because their growth was permitted to become dry.
  • Parsnip is the sweeter vegetable root that exists.
  • Many people confuse parsnips with turnips and white carrots.
  • Some people don’t like the earthy flavor and fibrous texture that parsnips have.
  • Parsnips chopped in small cubes can be added to any stew and thus enhance their flavor and nutrition.
  • To store parsnips, special care must be taken to prevent them from easily shriveling.
  • Cook parsnips are simple, they can be prepared bleached, steamed, roasted, and baked. 
  • Parsnips are best to eat as a side dish with any protein.
  • The growing season of parsnips is spring.
  • In most popular markets we can buy parsnips. They are found in the area of vegetables.
  • Prepare parsnips is a simple and delicious way to eat vegetables.
  • Parsnip cultivation is mainly done from parsnip seeds.
  • Many gardeners prefer to grow this plant in fall and winter. According to their experience, they are the ones that grow with the best flavor.
  • Younger parsnips don’t need to be peeled, they can cook and prepare directly.
  • We can store unwashed parsnips, which is a way of preserving their freshness and nutrients.
  • Always peel parsnips if you don’t want to add a lot of fiber to your preparation. 

Eat a Sweet Parsnip

If you are looking for a slightly sweet root vegetable, parsnip is an excellent alternative. Its subtle flavor will not only enchant you, but the multiple benefits it offers will keep you healthy. It is a tuber that will keep you satiated and will provide you with a load of important nutrients.

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