Try Parsnips this Winter!!

When we think of root vegetables, we typically think about carrots, beets, and yams.  But have you ever tried parsnips before?  Parsnips are also a root vegetable that look like carrots, but are white.  Parsnips can be used in stews, soups, and casseroles.  Parsnips are a lot like carrots, but have a sweeter taste especially when they are cooked. Parsnips are a great source of potassium.

How to Select
  • Pick parsnips that are small to medium-sized, not the ones that are larger in size.  The smaller parsnips will make prep work easier, but also they will be sweeter and more tender.
  • Pick parsnips that have little to no tiny, feathery threads at the end.  
  • Pick parsnips that have no soft spots or discoloration.  If the tops are attached, make sure they are fresh and green.
How to Store
  • Store parsnips in the refrigerator.  Carefully wash them, cut off the tops and let them air dry.
  • Wrap them loosely in a plastic bag and place in the crisper bin of the refrigerator.  
  • Parsnips stored in the refrigerator properly can stay fresh from 2 to 6 months.
How to Serve
  • Parsnips are great roasted.  Cut parsnips into chunks and drizzle with a little vegetable oil and roast in the oven until tender.  Add other vegetables like carrots, beets, or sweet potatoes.
  • Cut parsnips and add to your favorite soups or stews.
Try this recipe for parsnips in a delicious soup!

Apple Parsnip Soup
Servings: 8

Ingredients:
4 apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
4 parsnips, washed, peeled and sliced
1 large sweet potato, washed, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, washed, sliced in large chunks
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried sage (optional)
8 cups low-fat or fat-free milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables, oil, salt, pepper, and sage (if used).
  3. Place vegetables in baking dish.
  4. Bake vegetables for 45 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Add vegetables to blender, in batches, with milk and blend until smooth.
Put soup in large pot and warm for 15 minutes until heated through.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall