I love parsnips; they’re one of my favourite root vegetables. I love to fry them and add to salads, use as a sweetener in soups, lightly roast as a delicious side dish or even bake them into a scrumptious, moist cake.
Maple roasted parsnips are definitely my favourite way to enjoy them though. Peeled, par boiled and fried with a little maple syrup. They make the perfect side dish and can be eaten with a roast dinner, a shepherd’s pie, or any other dinner or lunch. They’re so versatile!
But, aside from being absolutely delicious, did you know parsnips are also full of so many health benefits?! They contain high levels of fibre, water and protein. As well as Vitamin C; which helps to maintain good oral health and also helps the immune system by stimulating white blood cell production to attack foreign microbes in the body. Parsnips also contain folate and Vitamins B6, E and K.
Sweet and Peppery
But that’s not all… Parsnips are also full of the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. They help to strengthen bones and the high levels of dietary fibre help to aid digestion, boost the immune system and promote growth. And, the potassium helps to reduce blood pressure and stress on the heart. These parsnips suddenly seem a lot more tempting!
The sweet and peppery flavour of these root vegetables – (completely off topic but did you know they’re closely related to parsley and carrots?!) – make parsnips perfect to add to any dish. Especially if you are currently on a health kick or on a calorie controlled diet as they have both a low carbohydrate and calorie content – 1/2 cup sliced, cooked parsnips contain only 55 calories! And, not only do they help to fill you up quickly, but parsnips also help to prevent ghrelin (the hunger hormone) from releasing, making them the perfect addition to any meal. It’s definitely worth including them in your diet a little more!
Traditionally you eat the root (the white ‘parsnip’ bit), but the leaves can actually be eaten if they’re (thoroughly) washed and are often fried. I find parsnips very similar to carrots in terms of their cooking techniques: give the skin a good scrub (if leaving it on, if not then peel them) and top and tail the parsnips. Depending on the recipe you can either slice into rings, long strips or grate. You can boil them, grill them (as chips), roast them or add to your soups and stews where they act as a sweetener. The possibilities are endless!
I know I’ve already said it, but I absolutely LOVE parsnips! They’re sweet, perfectly moreish and are one of the foods that I find myself craving as soon as the leaves begin to fall, and the weather takes a dip. They’re so simple and easy to prepare and take hardly any hands-on preparation. My favourite maple fried parsnip recipe is no exception, all you do is peel, parboil, apply a light layer of maple syrup and fry. I know that most people would roast them, but I find that frying them is quicker and easier. You don’t need to use a much oil either, making them a little healthier.
Healthy and tasty, what could be better?