Parsnip: nutrients, characteristics and uses in the kitchen

You may have seen them in the market. Parsnips look like carrots and are healthy for your diet. See how they can help you.

Last update: September 19, 2021

Parsnip has several names, such as pasticana or field celery. But in the end, it is still the same vegetable with a root that grows vertically downward, with ivory color and fine secondary roots.

They tend to compare it to carrots, although they are very different in taste. It is grown in areas of Eurasia and is consumed in different dishes with a flavor similar to that of anise and a little spicy. It can be used in the kitchen for dishes such as stews, stews and purees.

Nutritional contributions of parsnip

Parsnip provides, in 100 grams of product:

  • 75 calories.
  • 18 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 1.2 grams of protein.

The strong point of parsnip is its contribution in minerals. It provides 375 milligrams of potassium, 71 milligrams of phosphorus, 36 milligrams of calcium, 29 milligrams of magnesium, and 10 milligrams of sodium. Of vitamins, about 17 milligrams of vitamin C, 22.5 micrograms of vitamin K and 67 micrograms of vitamin B9.

Parsnip properties

Parsnip has many properties that we will describe below.

1. Prevents chronic diseases

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidative stress and cell damage. Increasing your intake can protect against chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between oxygen production and the body's ability to repair the damage caused by these substances. Diseases such as asthma are linked to this oxidative stress. As well as Alzheimer's, since free radicals play a fundamental role in the loss of neurons.

Free radicals accumulate naturally in the body. Its excess is related to aging processes.

2. High fiber content

130 grams of parsnips contain 6.5 grams of fiber. Fiber plays a critical role in intestinal health. Having a high intake of it, helps to deal with digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and ulcers.

Another benefit of fiber is that it increases satiety, reduces the intake of other foods, and helps control body weight. In addition, it can decrease the absorption of simple carbohydrates and favors blood glucose levels.

Another relevant fact is that it prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fiber helps decrease the absorption of fats in the intestine and inhibits the formation of cholesterol by the liver.

3. Helps the immune system

By eating 100 grams of parsnips, you provide the body with 25% of its daily needs for vitamin C. The role of this vitamin in supporting the immune system is extensive.

One of the functions is to stimulate leukocytes, which are the cells that defend the body from infection. What's more, regulates the response to viruses and reduces the duration of the common cold.

4. Stimulates healing

Vitamin C helps destroy the compounds that remove collagen. It is an important protein that is involved in the healing process. Collagen is what replenishes lost tissue in a wound.

Contraindications of parsnip

Parsnip belongs to the Umbelliferae family, which contains photosensitizing substances. This means that it causes conditions that make the skin sensitive to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

When handling the leaves of the plant it is not recommended to expose yourself to the sun for a long time. This could cause reddish spots to appear on the skin or dermatitis. It is a special warning for sensitive or hypersensitive people.

In addition, having high levels of vitamin K, if it is combined with anticoagulants it can cause hypercoagulability reactions. This is especially important for patients medicated with acenocoumarol, for example.

Uses of parsnip in the kitchen

The parsnip has wide gastronomic uses. It can be used in creams or soups, roasted or sautéed, replacing carrots.
To prepare a cream with them you will need the following ingredients:

  • Salt.
  • Water.
  • Laurel.
  • Onion.
  • Parsnips.
  • Chive.
  • Olive oil.

Sauté the onions in the oil with two bay leaves and salt for 12 to 15 minutes over medium heat. Then add the parsnips and salt to the water. Let them boil and soften. Remove the bay leaf and puree in a blender until creamy. Serve with the chives.

For pasta, creams or soups, these vegetables are ingredients that provide fiber, minerals and vitamins.

How to store parsnip

When buying parsnips, make sure that it has a tough flesh and a very thin skin, without bumps or marks. Must not bend. It can be stored in the fridge, but it only lasts for a week.

If you want to increase its shelf life, it can be frozen. To do this, put the parsnips in a container with cold water for 1 hour, thus removing the dirt. Run under cold running water and rub with your fingers and a small brush.

Begin to peel with a peeler or knife. Then cut into cubes. Boil in a pot of water and put in a container with ice water to stop cooking. Dry the parsnips with a towel. Next, put in a freezer bag or vacuum packed.