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Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Parsnips look like a white to cream colored carrot, 8-12 inches long, have a nutty, celery flavor.
  • Pick firm and dry parsnips. Can be stored in refrigerator in an unsealed bag for 3 weeks or longer.
  • Smaller parsnips may have more flavor and tenderness.
  • Cold temperatures 2-4 weeks before harvest help give parsnips a sweeter flavor.

Try it!

  • Parsnips can be used much like carrots and other root vegetables.
  • They are great chopped with other root vegetables, drizzled in olive oil and lightly seasoned (salt, pepper, garlic, thyme), and roasted at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until soft.
  • Sliced parsnips and carrots can also be briefly cooked (simmered for 2 minutes in water), strained, and added to a fresh lettuce salad.
  • Parsnips also work well in soups and can be treated like carrots in such recipes.

Like it! Mashed Parsnips


  • 4-5 parsnips
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/8-1/4 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Place the chopped parsnips in a pot and cover with water.
  2. Add salt and bring to boil. Boil until parsnips are so soft that they fall apart when you pierce them with a fork, around 15 minutes.
  3. Once parsnips are beginning to fall apart easily, drain well immediately to avoid a watery product.
  4. Mash the parsnips, adding butter, soymilk, and garlic.
  5. Grind in some pepper. Taste. Add more butter, garlic, or salt as desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 180; Fat 7g; Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 400mg; Carbohydrates 29g; Sugar 8g; Fiber 6g; Protein 2g

Source: University of Washington

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.

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