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??
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The more you know about the disease, the more you can help prevent and properly treat the diabetes. There are a lot of different beliefs out there about diabetes. Here are a few of the most common myths out there.
If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes
- It is definitely a risk factor, but so are other risk factors like family history, ethnicity and age that are also a huge risk factor. In fact, most people who are overweight/obese never develop type 2 diabetes.
Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
- The answer isn’t so simple. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors and genetics. Research has been shown that drinking sugary drinks are related to developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is not a serious disease
Diabetes is causing more deaths in a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined!! Did you know that it doubles your chances of having a heart attack too? It is definitely a serious disease and should be taken quite seriously.
People with diabetes should avoid sweets and desserts
There are no “off-limit” foods for people with diabetes. If they remain a part of a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity, then they can be ok.
You can catch diabetes from someone else
No. It isn’t contagious like a cold or flu. There does seem to be a link genetics and lifestyle factors however.
If you or someone you know has diabetes and you would like to either get more information and/or learn how to manage your blood glucose levels, please seek some education from a Certified Diabetes Educator in your area. Looking for more information? Check out www.diabetes.ca
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.