Parsnips are white root vegetables that look very much like a cream-coloured carrot. They have a wonderful light, spicy-sweet flavour that has a hint of nuttiness while being slightly earthy tasting. They are a perfect addition to a soup or stew or can be roasted until caramelized as a hearty side dish. We love them and so does BT who featured parsnips on-air! Click here to watch the link.
How to Select Parsnips:
Choose parsnips that are small to medium sized, as the larger ones tend to have a woody core that would need to be removed before cooking. You want parsnips that are pale, firm, smooth, and well shaped – avoid those that are limp, shrivelled and have soft spots.
How to Store Parsnips:
Store your parsnips in a bag in the crisper, just like you would store carrots. They will keep for up to three weeks.
How to Prepare Parsnips:
Scrub well and peel with a vegetable peeler. If you happen to have large parsnips, cut out the woody stems and discard. Also, trim and discard both ends. When preparing, you can either leave them whole, dice, slice, or grate depending on what you’d like to do with it!
Whether you are boiling, broiling, steaming, pureeing, or roasting parsnips, keep in mind that you can use them just as you would use a carrot.
Equivalents: 1 pound = 4 medium parsnips or 2 cups peeled and chopped
- Overcooking parsnips will turn them mushy, so just cook them until tender unless you are pureeing them.
- Cut your parsnips into small pieces and they can easily be sautéed alongside your favourite veggies or roast them to add another dimension of caramelized flavour.
- Like a potato, parsnips will brown after they’ve been cut, peeled, and exposed to air for too long. To prepare parsnips ahead of time, peel them and place in water or sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Small, younger parsnips are more tender and can be peeled or grated to add to a salad.
- Carrots and parsnips are interchangeable in most recipes.
Parsnips Go Well With:
Sweet: maple syrup and brown sugar
Spices: nutmeg, ginger, garlic, and pepper
Herbs: parsley, sage, and thyme
Fruits & vegetables: carrots, apples, potatoes, carrots
- Add boiled parsnips to your mashed potatoes for a subtly sweet flavour and more fibre.
- Roasted parsnips taste wonderful over a warm quinoa salad. Bring out their nutty flavour by adding some walnuts or pecans as well!
- Parsnips and apples are such a classic flavour match: try using it in soups, pies, or even breads!
- You can grate small, young parsnips for salad to enjoy them raw. Try our Carrot, Parsnip, Apple Salad recipe!
- Add some crunch to soups or softer foods: use a vegetable peeler to shave off ribbons of parsnip and flash-fry them in oil until crisp. Remove from oil and let drain on some paper tower. They’ll naturally add more movement and texture to your dish!
- Enjoy parsnips roasted as a delicious side dish and then use any leftovers in soup!
- Try making healthy vegetable chips with them!
According to the Canadian Nutrient File and Health Canada’s recommended daily intake for vitamins and nutrients, 100 g of raw parsnips contain only 75 calories but pack 14% of your daily fibre, 30% of folate, 12% of magnesium, 11% of potassium, and 4% of iron.