Contrary to popular belief, parsley root and parsnip are not similar, but two distinct vegetables. Although both belong to the Apiaceae family of plants, their shape and taste are different.
Did You Know?
Pregnant women should avoid consumption of parsley root as it can stimulate uterine contractions, which can increase the risk of miscarriage.
As the name suggests, parsley root is the root of the herbal plant parsley. Parsnip that appears very similar to parsley root is often mistakenly considered as one and the same root vegetable. Since they are members of the same family of plants, they do share some similarities and can be added in similar recipes.
In fact, parsley root can be a good substitute in dishes that require parsnips. For instance, both vegetables are often served roasted and added to soups and stews to enhance their taste. However, they are distinct root vegetables as discussed below:
Parsley root with scientific name Petroselinum crispum tuberosum is available as a whole, meaning the leaves of the plant are not removed. One reason being that the leaves are edible and have high medicinal value. However, this is not the case with parsnips (Pastinaca sativa). In the market, the parsnip leaves are usually removed from the root. This is because the leaves contain sap, which, upon exposure to the skin, can cause severe irritation.
Parsley Root Vs. Parsnip
It a long-shaped tuberous root vegetable. This slender cylindrical root resembles a carrot having long tapered roots.
Parsnips are usually short and broad. They generally have a bulbous shape with rounded shoulders. The stocky shape is a distinct feature of parsnips.
Parsley root has a clean, fresh taste. The taste is essentially a combination of celery root and parsley. However, many say that its taste resembles more of celery, but also has strong flavor elements of carrots. However, compared to parsnip, parsley root is less sweet.
Parsnips are considered as creamier and sweeter variant of carrots. In fact, small parsnips tend to have higher sweetness intensity than the large ones.
Parsley roots are usually off-white in color.
Parsnips appear creamy light yellow on the outside.
Parsley root has a light, fresh aroma.
Although parsnips are sweet, they have a pungent aroma. Hence, parsnips are often dried, which helps to reduce their pungent aroma. Dried parsnips available in the market and are ready to use. Steam blanching is one of the best ways to dry parsnips.
Although parsley root is generally cooked before adding it to various recipes, many prefer to eat it raw due to its exceptionally good flavor.
Parsnips are rarely served raw due to their pungent aroma.
Parsnips are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which can prevent cholesterol from getting absorbed in the bloodstream. Thus, one can reap cholesterol-lowering benefits by including parsnips in the diet. Eating parsnips regularly can also decrease the chances of developing diabetes as its high soluble fiber content helps in regulating blood sugar. Parsnips are particularly high in folate and vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system, in turn reducing the chances of getting upper respiratory tract infections.
Parsley Root Benefits
Parsley root, reportedly, helps in strengthening the spleen. The root is found to be a good source of B complex vitamins, iron, and calcium. It is also an excellent diuretic, which can help lower high blood pressure, in turn reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Its diuretic property can also assist to get rid of kidney stones and gallstones. Parsley root has also been effective in the treatment of liver diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and kidney problems. Tea made from the parsley root can also alleviate joint problems, for instance it can help reduce stiffness in joints.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.