Midweek meal makeover: Parsnip mash

Try this recipe for a nutrient-packed alternative to mashed potatoes

Root vegetables are plentiful in the winter, but with the exception of carrots, many get overlooked in the produce aisle. Root vegetables include beets, turnips, rutabagas, radishes and parsnips.

Next time you’re in the mood for mashed potatoes, how about giving mashed parsnips a try with this easy, delicious and nutritious recipe:

Parsnip Mash

4 medium parsnips, washed and chopped into quarters

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup 2 percent milk

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

Heat oven to 375 F. Spread the parsnips on a baking sheet, then coat them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are soft. (A fork should easily pierce the vegetable.) Let the parsnips cool slightly, then place them in a food processor and add the milk and butter. Puree until smooth. Add fresh parsley or your favorite herbs for additional flavor. Serve and enjoy as a side dish along with a protein or additional veggies!

Parsnips are a good source of folate, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. Nutrition information per ½ cup serving:

Calories – 148

Protein – 2 g

Carbs – 18 g

Fiber – 3 g

Total fat – 8 g

Calcium – 75 mg

To speed up roasting time on those busy school nights, try wrapping parsnips in foil with a tight seal to keep in steam.