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Parsnips

Parsnip is a root vegetable high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and vegetable protein. Despite not gaining much popularity in U.S. cuisine, parsnip is enjoyed around the world as a sweet staple starch. This root vegetable gets its sweetness due to a long growing season. Farmers prefer to harvest their parsnips in early spring, after the ground has thawed, since their taste significantly improves in taste when exposed to frost as the starch is transformed into sugar. ("From Asparagus to Zucchini", by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition)

STORAGE INFORMATION Parsnips can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag for a few weeks in your refrigerator, as you would carrots. Ideal conditions for storing them are 32’F to 35’F with 90% to 95% humidity. They can be frozen for longer storage. Cut off the tops, clean them and cut them into ½” cubes and water-blanch them for 2 min. or steam-blanch them for 3 min. Cool them and pack them into freezing containers.(from An Endless Harvest: Betty Levine)

FUN FOOD FACTS According to Steiner, food is primarily a stimulus for our body rather than makes up our body. He states that root vegetables have a high content of salts just like the soil it came from and it is these salts which stimulate the brain. Thus, the root of a plant affects the head, and the flower relates to the abdomen.

Steiner indicated that root vegetables will:

• Stimulate the metabolic and limb system – particularly important to those suffering from diseases affecting these areas of the body.

• Stimulate growth in cases of delayed growth in children from ages 0 to 7.

• Prevent recurring headaches (not migraine type).

Simple Root Soup

Cut up about 1 inch per root of 2-3 choices (celeriac, parsnip, rutabagas, carrot, beet, turnip, salsify) add 1 small potato or piece of a sweet potato, and 1-2 inches of cabbage or 1 leaf of another "green" and cover with water. Boil.  Puree.  Eat!  Of course, you can spice or salt if you like, little fresh ginger is perfect, but it's good even plain.  Very satisfying.  Eat as soup or over rice or other grain.  Serves 1 so just multiply -- and ad lib


Parsnips Tips in "Louise's Leaves: Around the Calendar with Local Garden Vegetable Produce", by Louise Frazier

Steam, lightly simmer or stir-fry slices of parsnips with ribbons of kale lead and/pr rings of kale stem for a dish combining the bitter with the sweet. For more color, add carrot slices. Season with coriander, which complements them all; and stew with chive nips just before serving. 


Baked Parsnip w/ Cinnamon Snack "From Asparagus to Zucchini", by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

Slice parsnips lengthwise into sticks. Bake at 350 degrees until soft, yet firm. Brush on a little melted butter with cinnamon. Serve warm.


Parsnip Patties "From Asparagus to Zucchini", by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

4 medium parsnips

1 egg yolk 

salt and pepper 

1 egg white, slightly beaten

1 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs (mixed with cornmeal or wheat germ, if desired)

butter and/or oil for frying


Parsnips and Carrots Soup - delicious soup that can be served warm or cold

Chop and saute large diced onion in olive oil or butter (2-3 tbsp.) till soft. Add peeled and chopped parsnips and carrots (if you have an immersion blender, or grated if you don't) and gently simmer covered till soft. Add minced garlic (1 or 2 cloves, to taste) and about a tablespoon of minced ginger, simmer for 30 seconds. Sprinkle about a 1/2 tsp of turmeric, a pinch of cayenne, or any other spice you feel is appropriate and stir well. You can use powdered ginger if you don't have fresh, about a teaspoon. Add 4-6 cups of stock or water and simmer gently for about a 1/2 hour. Puree with your blender or just mash a little. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add some chopped greens like kale or chard at the end or just serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

Curried Parsnips and Carrots - from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4-5

6 medium parsnips (11/2 pounds)

3 medium carrots (1/2 pound)

2 tbs sunflower oil or ghee

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1/8 tsp hing

½ tsp turmeric

¼ cup water

¼ - 1 cup plain yogurt (the lesser amount for Pitta and Kapha)

¼ cup additional water

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp curry powder, mild

1 tsp coriander powder

Shredded unsweetened coconut as garnish

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, as garnish


Wash vegetables and dice into ½ to 1-inch pieces. Heat oil or ghee in large skillet; add mustard seeds and hing. When mustard seeds pop, add turmeric, ¼ cup water, parsnips and carrots. Stir well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add yogurt, rest of water, and rest of spices. Cook another 5 minutes, covered, over low heat. Garnish with coconut and fresh coriander leaves.

Comments: This goes well with rice, barley, or cracked wheat. This recipe also makes a good vegetable side dish, if you omit the yogurt and additional water.


Grated Parsnip Apple Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing "From Asparagus to Zucchini", by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

Juice of 1 Meyer Lime

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

4-5 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups, peeled, shredded parsnips

1 1/2 cups peeled, shredded apples

1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves

salt and pepper

Mix lemon juice and mustard; whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream. Combine parsnips, apples, and parsley in a bowl; toss with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill 1/2 hour. Makes 6 servings


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