Eat Local! Parsnips
February 1, 2016
Parsnips are a sweet root vegetable – like the albino cousin of carrots. They were used in Europe in the 17th century to sweeten jams and cakes before refined white sugar became available to the masses. They can be used to replace carrots or potatoes in dishes – a great substitute for those trying to control their blood sugars. Parsnips are a great source of soluble fiber, the fiber recognized in oats, that reduces cholesterol and prevents blood sugar spikes.
If stored properly, parsnips will keep until late January or February. They prefer a dark, cool environment (38-42F at 90% humidity) like a cool cellar, basement or the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Parsnips are okay to eat after they’ve gone soft but not when they have gone soft and are growing sprouts.
Peppery Parsnip Mash
The best way to try a new vegetable is to add it to a dish you already know well -like, mashed potatoes! In this case, we ditch the potatoes altogether and enjoy parsnips (paired with cauliflower) in the same way.
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
3-4 Tbsp olive or Camelina Gold™ oil
2 Tbsp fresh chives (2 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp parsley (2 tsp dried)
Salt & pepper to taste
Steam or roast vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Drain the vegetables and place in a food processor equipped with an “s” blade. Add the oil while the food processer is running. When creamy and smooth, add herbs, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined. Serve hot.
Root Vegetable Turkey Pot Pie
You can use parsnips where you might find carrots in most recipes. This recipe is no exception.
4 sheets phyllo dough
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
2 parsnips, peeled and diced (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 (15-oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1⁄2 pound cooked turkey breast meat, diced
1⁄2 cup organic, pasture-raised half-and-half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 2-quart casserole dish with one layer of phyllo dough. Lightly brush sheet with olive oil and place another layer on top. (Let dough flap over pan edges.)
Over medium-high heat, heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining fresh vegetables and cook 8 minutes or until almost tender. Add chicken broth, fresh thyme, turkey, and frozen vegetables, and stir to mix.
While mixture is bubbling, mix the half-and-half with cornstarch and add to vegetable mixture, mix until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover with single layer of phyllo dough, spray with pan spray and repeat with second sheet. Fold in excess dough over the top of the pie. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let pie sit 10 minutes before serving.
Article by Darci Barman, MSN, RDN, LD, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist practicing “foods-first”, functional nutrition at Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic in Coeur d Alene, ID. For more healthy recipes or info on how to become a patient, see www.darcibarman.com