Parsnips look like the sunlight-starved cousins of carrots. Though they are in the same family, parsnips have a unique flavor, adding a sweet, earthy taste to vegetable purees, gratins, soups and stews. In Italy, parsnips are fed to pigs bred to make Parma ham.
Select firm, fleshy, medium-sized parsnips. Avoid large over-mature ones, as their flavor is not as good. Do not buy soft, shriveled, pitted, knobby or damaged roots.
Place parsnips in a plastic bag and store inside the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Do not place raw parsnips in the freezer, it’s best to blanch them first if you want to store them this way.
Make your own parsnip chips! Thinly slice and bake or fry parsnips for a healthier potato chip alternative.
Use to make your own healthy homemade baby food, it’s nutritious and unlikely to cause allergies.
Peeled and cut parsnips will oxidize when exposed to air, similar to apples and avocados. Place chopped parsnips in water with a bit of lemon juice if you’re not cooking them right away. The ascorbic acid in the lemon will react with the oxygen before it reacts with the polyphenol oxidase that turns fruits and vegetables brown.
Add parsnip chunks to all your soups and stews for a new taste and texture.
Larger roots may have a woody core which can be cut out and saved for making stock.
They’re also great cut into chunks, tossed with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper and roasted.
Parsnips contain anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anticancer antioxidants that can assist in fighting against various diseases.
Parsnips are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which can assist in reducing blood cholesterol levels, obesity and prevent constipation.
Fresh roots are also high in vitamin-C, which can help to maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums.
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