While not as popular as their orange cousin, parsnips are a versatile root vegetable and can be boiled, baked, mashed, spiralized, or eaten raw. Choose parsnips that are smaller because they're sweeter and more tender, then try them out these five ways.
As a fibrous snack
Parsnips have soluble and insoluble fiber that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the chances of developing diabetes. Fiber also prevents the release of ghrelin – the hunger hormone that prompts your brain to eat – and makes it less likely to have a bite to eat between meals. Replace cooked and mashed parsnips with chickpeas in your favorite hummus recipe and serve with carrots for the ultimate fibrous snack!
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As smiling soup
Parsnips are high in folic acid, which most people know to be an essential compound in preventing birth defects. Folic acid also prevents gum disease and gingivitis and gives you a healthy 100-watt smile. Each ½ cup serving of cooked parsnips contains 45 micrograms of folic acid, which is about 11 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Dice two parsnips in a soup of vegetable or chicken broth, canned tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, onions, and dill for your daily solution.
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As a calorie-reducing porridge
Pair mashed parsnips with your traditional holiday potatoes to cut the calories in half and add fiber.
As an energizing add-in
Parsnips contain copper, a trace element that is essential for the production of ATP in your cells. Chop up raw parsnips and add them to coleslaw or spiral onto your pre-workout or post-workout salad to boost the energy factor while adding a distinctive crunch with a sweet taste.
As a restoration root roast
Potassium is found in abundance in parsnips, which act as a vasodilator, helping to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles quickly, flushing out toxins, and helping recovery. Take 5 to 6 cups of raw, diced root vegetables (parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, potatoes) and toss with three chopped cloves of garlic, half a cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme, olive oil, and a dash of vinegar. Spread evenly in a layer in a frying pan and bake for 45 minutes at 450 degrees, stirring frequently to cook evenly.
Power: 4 servings
- 2 pounds of parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (6 medium)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add parsnips and cook until very soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to add parsnips to the food processor and to save the cooking water. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and blend until smooth. Add cooking water as needed if the mixture is too thick.
Nutritional information (per serving): Calories 211, carbohydrates 36 g, fat 7.5 g, fiber 9 g, protein 2 g, sodium 310, sugar 10 g