Gotta love kids who love their vegetables! But what are these root vegetables anyway?
Parsnips are a root vegetable, very closely related to carrots, celery, cumin, dill and in fact parsley! They are white and creamed coloured and are in fact sweeter than carrots. In order to get that flavour, they need to be harvested only after the first winter frost. This will allow enough time for the starches to become sugars.
They in fact have more sugar than carrots, turnips and radishes. And are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre as well as a good source of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and B vitamins such as folic acid! And don’t forget about those minerals! Parsnips are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron and especially potassium.
When buying, choose fresh, firm, heavy, medium sized parsnips. Avoid those that are long and thin with tail-like roots. Also, the older ones tend to have more of a woody taste because they have most likely dried out. Store them in the vegetable drawer in a plastic bag for about 1 week. If you do get large ones, remember to remove the core before cooking, as this will be bitter in taste.
But what to do with them?? So many different options! If you keep them raw, you can add them to salads and coleslaws. Or you can cook them like carrots, just remember to not overcook them as they will become mushier because of the extra sugar. But they can be mashed like potatoes or with them, roasted on their own or even placed in stews!
How do you like to prepare your parsnips??
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.