What’s So Great About Parsnips

What’s So Great About Parsnips

The parsnip…basically the white carrot (maybe a selling point if your kids like carrots?). Like it’s orange cousin, the parsnip is a root vegetable and, therefore, it’s unlikely you’re surprised that it’s good for you.  But did you know that centuries ago, people used to think eating parsnips would cure both a toothache and tired feet (umm, random, 17th century people!). Well it turns out you need to go the dentist for that sore tooth and Dr. Scholls for your aching feet but don’t count out parsnips just yet.

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Parsnips are packed with nutrition. According to www.webmd.com, just a half-cup has 3 grams of fibre (of the 25-30 grams you need to be aiming for daily) and only 55 calories. Plus that same half-cup has 17% of your daily vitamin C and 11% of your folate (especially important for pregnancy and growing kids). They’re also naturally sweet. In fact, according to WebMD, “in Europe, parsnips were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar was widely available”.  According to www.Chatelaine.com, parsnips should definitely be a staple as cold and flu season presses down on us since “they regulate the immune system, and lower the risk of an upper respiratory infection”. Oh and they “may help fight colon cancer and reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, especially in women who drink alcohol”. If you’re looking for other ways to incorporate the root veggie into your weekday meals consider making french fries out of them. You can just chop them into that kid approved shape, toss with a little olive oil and S & P and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Vat of ketchup for dipping optional…or is it?

And for the adults? Share the fries by all means because parsnips are said to be great “weight loss food”.  According to Discovery Health, parsnips, like all fibre-rich foods, fill us up, making us less likely to overeat. And, due to their natural sugar content, they also make the brain feel satisfied and just maybe, tricked into passing on dessert.

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