This month, turn your taste buds around and enjoy a sweet vegie as we celebrate winter’s parsnips, fresh lemons and pears.
This tasty veg looks similar to a carrot – but is slightly sweeter. No wonder, because they are actually related. In fact, before the arrival of sugar cane in Europe, parsnips were used as a sweetener. Parsnips are a great vegie to enjoy in winter – they are low in kilojoules but high in filling fibre and one parsnip has half of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Parsnips generally aren’t sold by variety. But, smaller, younger parsnips have a sweeter taste while larger parsnips have a slightly more nutty, woody flavour.
Choose small to medium-sized parsnips with creamy white skin and a firm surface. Avoid oversized parsnips or any that have blemishes.
Keep parsnips in the crisper of your fridge for up to two weeks.
Parsnips need to be cooked before you eat them. Slice the tops off before roasting, boiling, steaming or baking. They’re great roasted, used for making healthier baked chips, mashed or grated and stir-fried.
3 ways with parsnips
Try parsnip puree instead of mash. Cook parsnips in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Transfer to a food processor and add reduced-fat table spread, black pepper, chilli flakes, a little reduced-fat sour cream and a dash of lemon zest. Process until you get a smooth puree.
Mix up your favourite fritter recipe by using parsnips instead of zucchini or other vegies. Try adding ingredients like goat’s cheese, chives, mint, peas and your favourite spices.
As a tasty alternative to potato chips, make parsnip chips. Peel parsnips into thin ribbons. Sprinkle with your choice of seasoning (try Cajun) and bake until crispy.