Parsnip; richer in iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

Try out my parsnip recipe, and introduce a flavorful new vegetable into your diet. Recipe at the bottom of the article.

Because of parsnip’s unique and versatile bold flavours and natural sweetness it has become more popular in our kitchens. 

Parsnip is found all over Europe and Central Asia.  History tells us that this edible root was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans (2000 years ago). It was used as a natural sweetener to flavour cakes and other baked goods. Then the European explorers decided that parsnip was so good they wanted to share it with North America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. If you have never tried parsnip, now is a good time. But first a little nutritional information for you!

Nutritional Benefits of Parsnip

Parsnips are full of  positive health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

Parsnip is so rich in potassium that it helps your heart function; it reduces blood cholesterol levels, balances your blood pressure as well as lowering your risk for kidney stones.

It has a high fibre content. So it helps to maintain regularity which makes it fantastic for a healthy gut. It helps move food along the digestive tract and so it improves your bowel health. The fibre in parsnip helps to slow down sugar absorption to avoid spikes with your blood sugar. Even though parsnip has a higher glycemic index (52), because it has so much fibre the sugars don’t absorb all at once.

Parsnips are high in antioxidants which include vitamin C and polyacetylenes.  So this helps prevent oxidative stress, diabetes, heart disease and may prevent cancer. The vitamin C and antioxidants help boost your immune system, fighting infection and boosts your white blood cells. High amounts of vitamin C can also help to reduce your risks for respiratory infections.

One cup, which is a 133 grams, of parsnips provide the following goodness to your body:

  • Calories: 100
  • Carbs: 24 grams
  • Fibre: 6.5 grams
  • Protein: 1.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 25% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin K: 25% of the RDI
  • Folate: 22% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 13% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 10% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 8% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI

In addition to the nutrients listed above, parsnips contain a small amount of calcium, iron, and riboflavin as well – just the cherry on the top.

Parsnips are so versatile, they can be prepared in many ways; used in soups, stews, casseroles, gratins, and purees. You can slice them into thin chips and bake them. Grate parsnip into your salad. Use it to make parsnip and potato gratin.  At christmas time drizzle maple syrup on them and roast them in the oven, mouth watering goodness. 

As always drop me a line and let me know what you think!


Crunchy on the outside, and soft inside – are delicious served hot with roasted vegetables.




700g parsnips, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm pieces


75g vegan butter

30ml (2 tablespoons) coconut cream (vegetarians double cream)

Freshly ground black pepper

1ml (¼ teaspoon) freshly grated nutmeg

33g unsweetened applesauce (vegetarians 1 egg)

125ml (½ cup) dry breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil (or oil of your choice) for deep-frying


  1. Put the parsnips in a pan and cover them with cold water. Add salt and cover the pan. Bring this to the boil and cook for 15 minutes until the parsnips are tender.  Drain them thoroughly.
  1. Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan, and add it, with the coconut cream, to the parsnips. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mash well.
  1. Allow it to cool, then stir in the applesauce. (egg)
  1. Using your fingers, form the mixture into walnut-sized balls and roll them in breadcrumbs.
  1. Put the oil in a deep pan and heat to 200°C – a cube of day-old bread should turn golden in about 45 seconds. 
  1. In a frying basket, place as many balls as will fit without touching. Lower the basket carefully into the hot oil and fry the balls for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown. Repeat with more batches of the balls until they are all cooked.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS Serve them hot, and if desired, sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped parsley.  Alternatively, cover with vegan cheese sauce and brown under the grill.

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