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, and, left in the ground to mature, it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts. Parsnips have a distinct taste. They have a sweetness similar to a carrot but with an earthy nuttiness. They are even sweeter than carrots when cooked—in fact, Europeans used parsnips to make sweetener before sugarcane became widely available. Parsnips are an excellent source of many important nutrients, packing a hearty dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals into each serving. In particular, parsnips are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as several other important micronutrients.