In honor of fall, and all the delicious seasonal veggies available, I’ve decided to try and write a semi- regular post about a veggie I haven’t eaten lately or one I have never tried at all.
This weeks post is in honor of the (very humble in my opinion) parsnip. I actually have rather fond childhood memories of eating parsnips. This is in no part thanks to my veggie avoiding mom, but rather, thanks to my veggie loving dad. I didn’t much enjoy eating cooked carrots as a kid (love them now!), but I did like to eat cooked parsnips. Not that we ate them often…
My recent exposure to parsnips has been pretty minimal. I did try and make a sauteed parsnip and carrot dish last Christmas, but oddly enough the parsnips tasted like turnips or rutabagas. I KNOW they weren’t turnips or rutabagas, but I have absolutely NO idea what they were. No offense to any turnip and rutabaga lovers reading this, but I just don’t get them… (I’d LOVE to hear from if you have a recipe for turnips or rutabagas that you think will make me change my mind! Oh, and if you know of a veggie that LOOKS like a parsnip, but isn’t a parsnip, I’d love to know that too!)
Last week, however, I had the opportunity to attend a reception at the San Diego Museum of Art. If you live in or near the San Diego area, I highly recommend both the Japanese Block Print exhibit and the Toulouse Lautrec exhibits.
There were a lot of delicious looking Asian inspired tapas to eat at the reception, but, alas, there weren’t too may choice for a gluten free eating gal like me… Ultimately, I did find some food to fill me up. There were yummy chicken skewers, a nice assortment of cheese, some grapes and strawberries and a HUGE platter of roasted veggies. This platter included sweet potatoes, yams, beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, and yes, parsnips. They were all SO delicious, and they gave me the kick start for this, and future, posts.
So, for my first veggie experiment installment, lets get down and dirty with parsnips…
Parsnip Nutritional Info: Parsnips (1 cup raw) are a good source of…
- Fiber: about 6 grams
- Vitamin C: 28 % of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 37 % of DV
- Manganese: 23 % DV
- Contains falcarinol, an antioxidant also found in carrots, that is being studied for its potential role in cutting cancer risk (See link at Web MD)
Some Additional Parsnip Info…
- Parsnips are available year round, but the optimal season for them is fall to spring.
- Store parsnips in the refrigerator crisper for up to 2-3 weeks.
- Parsnips tend to be sweeter if you get them after the first frost.
My Parsnip Recipe: Parsnip and Apple Soup
(Note: this recipe makes approximately 10 cups of soup which is great for freezing, however, you may want to cut the recipe in half for the first time, just to make sure you like it! I did!)
- 8 cups broth of choice (I used Imagine Organic No Chicken Broth)
- 2 pounds fresh parsnips
- 2 pounds apples (I used organic Golden Delicious)
- 1 1/2 cup shallots
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh sage leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste if desired
Heat broth in large pan until boiling, then allow to simmer. While broth is heating up start scrubbing, peeling, and chopping the parsnips and apples in to approximately 1/2 inch cubes. (Note:I peeled my parsnips, but it would probably be ok to simply scrub them as a time saver.) Add chopped parsnips and apples to broth. Next, heat olive oil in pan, add onion and sage, and saute until onion is translucent. Add onion/sage mixture to broth, and continue cooking until parsnips and veggies are nice and tender. Total cooking time should take approximately 30 minutes. Remove sage leaves, then puree everything using a food processor (in batches) or an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. (I ended up not using any.)
Make it a meal:
- Parsnip and apple soup
- Grilled cheese sandwiches (I made mine with a nutty Gruyere cheese and Udi’s gluten free bread)
- Fresh fruit (We had pineapple)
This, in my mind, is a great meal because it mingles contrasting flavors (sweet soup/savory cheese), and its also a nice balance of nutrients. The low fat, high fiber, high antioxidant soup allows for indulging in a little bit of your favorite full fat cheese. Enjoy!
What’s your take on parsnips? Like em or leave em? Do you have any good parsnip recipes to share? Any GREAT rutabaga or turnip recipes to share?
I would love to hear from you! Please click here to leave a comment, ask a nutrition question, or leave a suggestion for The Spicy RD.