Parsnips Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Parsnips

Parsnips

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At a Glance

Parsnips belong to the same family as the carrot and parsley plant. Parsnips look like carrots, with green, leafy tops and a long fleshy root. Parsnips are an excellent source of potassium. You can eat parsnips raw or cooked.

Overview

A parsnip is a vegetable that belongs to the same family as the carrot and parsley plant. Its long, tuberous, cream-colored root becomes sweeter tasting if left in the ground until the frost. Parsnips can be stored for months in a cool place, but they are at their best in the late autumn and early winter. They can be eaten cooked or raw.

Identification

Parsnips look a lot like carrots, with green, leafy tops and a long, or sometimes bulbous, fleshy root. The root is the edible part of the plant.

Nutrition Info

An average sized parsnip provides about 75 calories, 1.2g of protein, about 5.0g of fiber, 5.0g of sugar, and 18.0g of carbohydrates.

Parsnips are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. In particular, they’re a great source of potassium, offering 375 mg per 100g. They’re also rich in antioxidants and are noted for their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties.

Selection

In buying parsnips, look for smooth, firm, medium-sized roots. Avoid overly large, woody-looking, or soft and shrivelled parsnips. They won’t taste as flavorful. And stay away from those that are too long, straggly, and skinny, because they’re difficult to peel and prepare.

If you grow parsnips, handle their shoots and leaves with care. The sap contains a photosensitive chemical that can be toxic to sensitive people, causing a rash and itchy skin.

Storage

Store parsnips in a cool place, either in the crisper of your refrigerator or in a cold cellar. Do not freeze uncooked parsnips. Parsnips are rarely sold with their tops on, but if you happen to buy some at the market with tops, remove those before storing.

Preparation

To eat parsnips raw, simply wash, peel, and cut them up. They are sweet and delicious and make a great salad paired with sliced apples, walnuts, and a sharp-tasting green such as arugula.

Parsnips can also be boiled, steamed, sautéed, roasted, or fried.

Option 1. Roasting

Wash and peel parsnips and cut into “sticks” about 1 ½” thick. Toss the parsnips with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, a bit of salt, and some pepper, and a sprig of thyme or a few cloves of garlic, if desired.  Place on a greased baking sheet or into a Pyrex casserole and roast at 450°F for about 20 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized at the edges.

Note: You can also roast carrots or potatoes along with your parsnips. Parsnips will cook a little bit faster than the other root vegetables.

Option 2. Boiling

Wash and peel parsnips and cut into pieces. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt, and place parsnips in the water. Allow to boil lightly until the parsnips feel soft to a cake tester. Drain and season to eat immediately, or use in further preparations such as purées.

Recipe: Roasted Parsnips with Dates and Carrots

Parsnips

This is a perfect autumn side dish for your favourite protein, like grilled steak or roasted chicken. Use up any leftovers in a frittata or salad.

Ingredients

parsnips, washed, and peeled
1 pound
baby carrots, washed, and peeled
1 pound
dates, pitted, torn in half
1/3 cup
olive oil
1 tbsp
kosher salt
1/2 tsp
parsley leaves
1/4 cup
dried oregano
1/2 tsp
yogurt (optional)
2 tbsp

Directions

Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes   Yield: 4-6 side servings

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Begin by cutting the parsnips into quarters lengthwise, so that they are roughly the same size as the carrots.

Note: 1 pound of parsnips and carrots is equivalent to approximately 1 large bunch of each.

Toss the parsnips and carrots into a large bowl and add the dates, oregano, salt, and olive oil.

Toss well and transfer to a 8″ x 11″ baking dish.  Bake until veggies are fork tender, about 25 minutes.

Garnish with the parsley leaves and drizzle the yogurt on top if desired.

Store leftovers in fridge.

Enjoy!

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At a Glance

Parsnips belong to the same family as the carrot and parsley plant. Parsnips look like carrots, with green, leafy tops and a long fleshy root. Parsnips are an excellent source of potassium. You can eat parsnips raw or cooked.