The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to carrot and parsley; all belong to the family Apiaceae. It is a biennial plant usually grown as an annual. Its long, tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh.
The parsnip is usually cooked, but it can also be eaten raw. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. It also contains antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. It's even easier to grow parsnips than to grow their close cousin, carrots, Parsnips look like colorless carrots, but with their own complex, sweetly spicy earthiness. Parsnips are native to the Mediterranean region and have been a popular European food since at least the ancient Romans. The early English settlers brought parsnips with them to America, but they have been overshadowed by both carrots and potatoes. However, they grow well in most areas, although they require a long growing season. A bit of frost will sweeten their flavor and the roots can be stored and used throughout the winter.