Friday, December 9, 2011

To Grow or Not to Grow

A dish of root vegetables at a dinner party last Sunday left me wondering, should I grow turnips and parsnips in my garden next summer. Some of you may be shocked but I've never grown them. I've hardly ever eaten them. It just wasn't a vegetable served at our home growing up and it isn't something you see very much in the grocery stores around here.  
It wasn't that I noticed that I loved the baked vegetable dish or anything but I wondered whether nutritionally where they stood because I liked them okay. About the same thing you could say about broccoli. But I do like broccoli in things better than eaten by itself. But I mainly eat it because it's good for me. Not super good since I have a thyroid condition and that means I should limit my intake of this particular vegetable. The same being true if you were on the medication Coumadin but for different reasons.

So since my middle name is curious, not seriously just characteristically, I just couldn't get those vegetables off my mind. Here it is a half a week later and I just couldn't stand it. I had to go and buy one turnip and one parsnip and make a stew, tasting each one raw first. Of the two, I liked the turnip best. But after reading how sweet the parsnips are suppose to be, I'm left wondering about the farmer. Mine was okay tasting but I definitely wouldn't call it sweet. Maybe he forgot to leave it in the ground for three to four weeks of cold weather like the instructions say in order to change the starches to sugars.

Who knows but according to the nutrition chart,  parsnips have a higher glycemic level than almost any other vegetable. Two times the carbs of carrots, a close relative. If you are low on carrots you can substitute parsnips for them in a recipe but then you'd be missing that pretty orange color and carotene. My research revealed that you can also eat them raw in salads.

As for growing them, I remember as a kid my neighbors grew them but then they grow nice cantaloupe too over in that country. The down side to growing them is the seeds don't last. You have to order new ones every year because they won't germinate if stored longer. That dampers my interest in growing parsnips right there.

When I went to on the Internet, they had these lovely nutrition charts on everything. I could of spent hours there but I'm feeling guilty about my blogs this very hectic week and so I figured I'd better get a move on getting this one done.

I did switch back and forth comparing parsnips and turnips nutritionally. Parsnips were quite a bit more nutritious but they do have a mild inflammatory rating along with a higher omega 6 to omega 3 levels and then there is that dratted glycemic level.

Where the turnips shown was in their greens. Yes, you can eat the tops and the roots like with beets. The greens were high in vitamin K and A. K being good for osteoporosis which is highly hereditary in both sides of my family. Kale and spinach is even higher in vitamin K so I'll just eat those instead.

Ths is the nutrition site.

Yet when all was said and done, I just couldn't justify growing these two vegetables in my limited garden space. For several reasons, the fact that I like them but don't love the taste and nutritionally they aren't a must grow for health.
If you are a turnip and parsnip lover, good for you. I probably just don't know what I'm missing but I think I'll just stick to my present vegetables for now.

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