Parsnips offer a good source of health benefits. The nutritional content includes vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin C, as well as important essential nutrients including calcium, iron and potassium.
This is a low calorie food with low sodium content, and the fat content of this vegetable is also very low. This healthy vegetable is great as part of a balanced, calorie controlled diet.
Healthy Foods Index
Parsnips are delicious health root vegetables that are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients. It is a root vegetable that is often associated winter and traditionally, the parsnip is an old favorite to serve with Christmas dinner.

Parsnips have pale ivory, yellow color skin and white flesh once the skin is peeled away. Parsnips have a distinct, unusual smell and a unique, smooth delicious taste.

This healthy root vegetable is not only available during the winter months, it is available during all seasons, all year round, and it is a particularly good accompaniment vegetable to roast dinner; meats and other vegetables.

Parsnips also add flavor to stews and soup recipes. Tradition has it that parsnips at their best when eaten after the first frost.

Parsnips are low in calories, it is a very healthy vegetable particularly raw parsnips before they have been through the cooking process. The amount of calories in parsnips depends on the way that the parsnip is cooked for example if you are going to bake, grill, roast, steam, fry, mash or boil the vegetable.

The following calorie guide can be used to calculate the amount of calories in parsnip:

Calories Parsnips per 100 grams:
Trimmed, Peeled, Boiled Parsnips- 66 calories
Frozen, Roasting Parsnip- 139 calories
Frozen, Roasting, Honey Glazed Parsnips- 165 calories

The History of Parsnips
Parsnips date back many years. The origin of this unusual root vegetable began when the Romans started growing them for broths and stew recipes.

The parsnip was introduced before the potato to Europe and before these times, it was the main form of starchy vegetable. This root vegetable provided both the poor and the wealthy with a healthy source of nutrition, particularly during winter time.

Throughout history, people have made great use of this versatile vegetable which is very easy to grow. The natural sugar content of the parsnip meant that excellent recipes for parsnips could be created - recipes including desserts, jams, beer and wine!

Picking Parsnips and Storing Parsnips
When picking parsnips, always try to select small to medium sized parsnips as they cook quicker and the skin does not always have to be peeled. The smaller sized parsnips are healthier as overall they will retain more vitamins and nutrients once they have been cooked - roasted, baked, fried, steamed or whatever cooking method you choose.

This is explained in further detail under the instructions for preparing parsnip. Look for parsnips that appear fresh, i.e. not bruised or marked and feel firm to the touch, not soft or limp. Store parsnips in a cool but airy place. They will remain fine for eating for approximately 8-10 days if stored in the right conditions.

Preparing Parsnips for Cooking
When peeling the skin of the parsnip, try to take as little as possible off , if any at all. Larger sized parsnips may have to be peeled. Remember that the majority of the health benefiting nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are essential to our health, are contained either within the skin or the layer directly beneath the skin, therefore, where possible, as much of the skin should be eaten as this is the healthiest part.

Tips for Cooking with Parsnips
There are many cooking options for parsnips. A particular favorite for many is roast parsnips as they taste delicious and unique to any other vegetable.

Roast parsnips are simple to cook in the oven as it's just a matter of cutting the parsnip to a size small enough to roast and then roasting them in oil. However, if you are going to make roast parsnips, it is advisable to par-boil them first for a few minutes before transferring them to the roasting tray. Parsnips can be cooked in different ways including boiling, baking, steaming, mashing and frying.

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