what are parsnips

Looking for a healthier replacement for mashed potatoes, but not really interested in sweet potatoes? Let’s take a look at another starchy tuber: the parsnip. Is it Paleo?

What are Parsnips?

Another starchy tuber in the world of root vegetables, parsnips look (and taste) a lot like carrots, except that they’re pale cream-colored or white, instead of bright orange. They’re related to carrots, but (clearly) lack the beta-carotene that gives carrots their hue. Although they’re popular in restaurants, they haven’t gone fully mainstream yet, and can be hard to find in your local market. Hailing from Eurasia, the parsnip appears to have been cultivated in Roman times, but in the last few hundred years it was slowly replaced by the potato.

You can also find squat, fat parsnips that look somewhat like a turnip and a parsnip had a baby. The parsnip is chockfull of insoluble fiber, potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C. It’s also got a lower sugar content than the carrot, and is most frequently eaten either roasted or as a way of tempering sweet soups and purees such as sweet potato, or apple.

Are Parsnips Paleo?

Yep! They sure are. And if you’re in the market for low-carb and low-calorie tubers, they’re a much better option than potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. They come in varying sweetness levels, as the longer they’re left to mature in the ground, the sweeter the resulting vegetable. Take a look at the recipes below for some ideas, and ask around at your market to see who will be harvesting them soon. (Note: parsnips aren’t considered GAPS friendly, and the mature varieties can sometimes have more sugar content than carrots!)

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