Botanical name: Pastinaca sativum.
A parsnip looks like a white carrot, though its taste is entirely different. It is a fall vegetable that belongs to the Parsley family. Parsnip nutritional benefits are many and they are versatile, easy to grow and easy to cook with. They are powerful cancer fighters by helping to keep the digestive tract free of cancer causing matter.
Parsnip Nutritional Benefits
They include a high sugar and starch content.
This vegetable contains more fiber then most other vegetables
It's rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Parsnips provide the body with copper, manganese and folic acid.
Niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium are all found in Parsnips.
They also help reduce high blood pressure, constipation and heart problems.
Tips on harvesting and cooking Parsnip
They can be baked, steamed, roasted and boiled.
Some people like to remove the peel when preparing them.
Boiled parsnips can be mashed and you can add a little butter, milk, salt and pepper for taste.
They can take up to three to four months to reach maturity before harvesting.
Make sure the ground is moist and loose before taking out the ground.
The stems will snap off at the root if the ground is hard and dry.
If it does happen to snap, use a fork to loosen the root to get it out of the ground.
Be careful that you do not damage the root when you dig around it.
Wash the roots well, removing any soil remaining on the vegetable.
Parsnip and Broad Bean Curry Soup
1 chopped onion
Curry powder / masala
Cumin seeds, aniseed, coriander seeds
3-4 parsnips (peeled and chopped)
1-2 cups dried broad beans (soaked overnight)
2-3 peeled and chopped potatoes
2-3 grated carrots
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Fry the onion, add curry and masala, cumin seeds, aniseed, coriander seeds to taste. Fry lightly. Stir and then add the vegetables and water, cook for 30-40 minutes, till the parsnips, beans and potatoes are tender. Add the garlic salt and pepper. Serve with home-baked bread. This is a delicious treat for a cold day.
How to Grow Parsnip for maximum nutritional benefits
The seed is a flat round brown seed, which you can scatter on the ground where you want them to grow.
Add lots of compost to the soil before you plant your parsnips. Use a fork to loosen the ground before sowing the seed, without turning the soil, so the roots can penetrate easily.
Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil and press it down.
Water the area with a light spray for ten days, and the seedlings should appear.
Once your seeds are standing about eight centimeters high, you thin them out, much like thinning carrots.
Thinning means that you remove every second plant to allow space for the root to develop.
They enjoy the company of Onions, Radish, Garlic, Pea, Pepper and Potato.
They prefer to be separate from Caraway, Carrot and Celery.
Parsnip is a natural insecticide.