Parsnip, a sure sign of winter!



This week’s arrival of my ‘Vegetable Medley box’ of Farm Fresh Organics came with a ‘winter arrival’: Beautiful organic parsnip! This hardy creamy coloured root vegetable is indigenous to Eurasia where it has been enjoyed for over thousands of years, not only for taste but also medicinal purposes: they were used to treat stomach aches as well as toothaches! Related to the carrot, this starchy vegetable has a stronger sweeter taste than its orange cousin and will go well in soups and stews.

The health benefits of parsnips are plentiful; here are only a few of them! Parsnips are full of soluble and insoluble fibre, a good 7 grams per single serve, which will help the body maintain a healthy blood sugar level, lower cholesterol and support a healthy bowel movement. The high amount of vitamin C in parsnip, a powerful anti-oxidant, is definitely welcome during the colder winter months to help boost our immune system. In equal amount as vitamin C, parsnip contains folate and several other B vitamins. Folate is a water soluble vitamin, and among its numerous tasks are DNA synthesis and cell growth. Other anti-oxidants in parsnips besides vitamin C, are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, research has shown.

So having discussed the numerous health benefits of parsnip, lets continue to a lovely winter side dish; Mashed parsnip!

Mashed parsnip (side dish, serves 4)
500 grams of parsnip
1 large onion
A few cloves of garlic
A little bit of olive oil
1/3 cup of organic full cream milk
Dollop of Butter
Chives to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the onion and parsnip in large chunks and put in a bowl. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and make sure all the vegetables are coated with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt.
Put the vegetables and the cloves of garlic (with the skin on) on a baking try and roast in the oven until golden brown and soft (160 degrees for 30-40 minutes).
Remove from tray, and peel the garlic. Put everything in a bowl with a dollop of butter. Heat up the milk until just boiling and add to the vegetables. Mash the vegetables with a hand mixer or use a kitchen machine. Season with pepper and chives. Enjoy!

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