1. Where They Came From
Parsnips are native to Europe and Asia and were introduced to North America in the 17th century.
2. Medicinal Uses
People used to believe (falsely) that eating parsnips could relieve a toothache or tired feet.
3. Nutrients You Get
Half a cup of sliced, cooked parsnips has 3 grams of fiber and only 55 calories. They are a good source of vitamin C (11% of the recommended daily allowance), folate (11%), and manganese (10%).
4. Parsnip's Family
It's no coincidence that the parsnip resembles the carrot. The two veggies are close relatives.
But it's not related to the "cow parsnip," which is a member of the parsley family.
5. Sugar in Parsnips
The parsnip's unique flavor comes when its starches change to sugar. This happens after the first frost, when the vegetable is still in the ground.
In Europe, parsnips were used to sweeten jams and cakes before sugar was widely available.