Nutritional properties of parsnip

Edible properties of parsnip

What are the main nutritional benefits of parsnip?

Nutritionally, we could say that parsnip is similar to other vegetables, with a nutritional composition similar to that of carrots.

It is a root rich in carbohydrates (18%), in the form of starches, which are the main form of energy reserve for plants. Parsnip, in cold climates, is capable of transforming part of its starches into sugars, and for this reason it is sweeter than carrots.

Furthermore, it has a very high fiber content (5%), contains practically no protein (1%), and its fat content is almost zero.

Of its mineral content,  we should  highlight the high contribution in potassium, a very important nutrient for the heart and kidneys.

Among the vitamins, its content in vitamin C and folic acid (vitamin B9) stands out, an important component for the health of the heart, athletes and diet during pregnancy.

Where and how to buy parsnips?

Parsnips can be purchased at markets and vegetable and fruit stores. It is a crop that is usually available during the fall and winter. The fresh roots are turgid and hard.

Which are the bests parsnips and how to store them?

If they bend easily, are wrinkled, or appear bruised, they should not be purchased. It is also better to consume them as soon as possible and not keep them for more than ten days in the refrigerator, since then they begin to soften and diminish their flavor.

How is parsnip consumed?

recipe fried parsnip chip
Parsnip chips: cut into thin slices and fried in olive oil.

Before the introduction of  potatoes, parsnips, along with turnips, were widely consumed foods in Europe. Progressively, its use in the kitchen has been decreasing, increasing consumption of potatoes. Among the main preparations:

  • Broths and stews: Currently, parsnips are usually consumed in broths, which provide a distinguished aroma. It is also used for meat and fish stews, accompanied by aromatic herbs.
  • Parsnip chips: More recently, cooking parsnip has re-established, so,  recipes as rich as parsnip chips are quite common, a delicious starter with fewer carbs than potato chips or sweet potato chips.
  • Vegetable creams and other: It can also be consumed in vegetable creams, with peas or other legumes, and in any preparation, taking into account that it has a fairly aromatic flavor.

Nutritional differences between parsnips and potatoes

Parsnip has fewer carbohydrates than the tuber of  potato plant and it is therefore more suitable for people with problems with the metabolism of these nutrients, such as obesity, menopause or diabetes.

The cooking time for parsnips is shorter than for potatoes. It should also be noted that its flavor is very different, since, while the potato is quite neutral, the parsnip is a quite aromatic ingredient.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

10 November, 2021

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