You know that stack of white carrots at the grocery store that are not actually carrots at all? The flesh colored funky looking roots? Those are parsnips and they are a whole new world of delicious. I don't think I had ever even tasted a parsnip until I went to my fiancé's family's house for Thanksgiving. It has this perfume like aroma that's kind of sweet and very earthy, and ridiculously yummy and fresh tasting. Even better, they are pretty darn good for you.
Check this out:
The parsnip is rich in vitamins and minerals, and particularly rich in potassium. Several B Vitamins are found in Parsnips, but levels of Vitamin C are reduced during cooking. Parsnips also contain antioxidants such as, falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol and methyl-falcarindiol which have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Parsnips are also high in fiber, so they may aid in the prevention of constipation and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
So next time you're at the market, pick a few of these up. If you're not sure what to do with them, I recommend my Mother-In-Law's Thanksgiving dish: Mashed Carrots & Parsnips. Simply chop the carrots and parsnips, boil them in a large pot, when they can be cut in half with a fork, drain the water and mash them up. Add a dash of salt and maybe some fresh herbs. These make for an amazingly fresh and aromatic side dish for any meal, and a healthy one at that!