You may have overlooked the parsnip when you were up and down the produce aisle but we want to change that! We’re featuring parsnips as our December veggie so that next time you see it you’ll load up on this great winter staple.
Look for white parsnips. Smaller sized ones are generally sweeter. The white colour of the flesh is related to the sweetness. Look for firm ones and avoid those that are starting to turn yellow or brown around the core. You can check by looking at the top of the parsnips where the stems attach. One pound of parsnips is 4-6 stalk. This makes 4 servings or 3 cups chopped.
Store unwashed parsnips wrapped in paper towel in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. They will keep for 2 weeks or longer. Once cooked, use within 3 days. To freeze, wash and cut into 1 inch cubes and par-boil or steam for 3-5 minutes. Cool and pack in a plastic container; freeze for 8 to 10 months.
Wash and peel to prepare for cooking. It is best to prepare parsnips just before cooking since they will darken when exposed to air. You can also wash them, cook and then scrape the peel off after cooking but it may be more challenging to remove the peel this way. Small, tender parsnips can be washed, peeled and grated raw for use in salads.
Parsnips can be roasted in the oven along with other root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Roasting enhances parsnips’ sweet nutty flavour. If adding to soups or stews, add near the end of the cooking time so they don’t get mushy.
Parsnips are available all year long. Those harvested in early winter have a particularly pleasing flavour, as their sweetness intensifies from being frozen in the ground.
A half cup serving of parsnips has 55 calories. It provides a source of fibre, Vitamin C, folate and manganese.
Here are some of our favourite recipes.
Sweet Potato Parsnip Pie: This combination of mashed veggies and creamy meat filling is a family favourite. The twist has a colourful combo that packs a flavour boost.
Spiced Parsnip Soup with Smoked Paprika Almonds: This creamy veggie soup is one you’ll want to make often!
Roasted Fennel and Parsnip Soup: This thick and rich soup has a fresh flavour with a hint of licorice from the fennel.
Roasted Fall Veggie Medley: The perfect #halfyourplate side to a Fall dinner is this roasted veggie medley.
What are your favourite ways to use parsnip?