Monday, April 25, 2016

Parsnips for the P

Useful properties of parsnipWhile they look like Carrots and they do grow in the cooler months, they aren't even from the same family. While they share a shape that is about the extent of their likeness. Parsnips can be grown well into the winter while carrots enjoy a bit more warmth in their growing season. While parsnips look like a white carrot once you try one you'll know the difference. Parsnips have a spicy flavor while the carrot is sweeter, more like a squash flavor.

These long growing root veggies need a deeply worked soil that is loose and free of clay and stones. They can be one of those needier plants in your garden so take heed, they will need to be weeded until they establish themselves and they like to have "wet feet" so they'll need to be watered often if the weather takes a turn towards the dry. Warmer climates will need to mulch to help keep in the moisture, this will help cut down some on the watering. As they mature they will have a vigorous green top and the root with start to push up out of the soil. Harvesting is easier than the growing, just loosen the soil around the root and pull. Cut the tops off and place the washed root in a bag for up to two months in the fridge. They also store well in the ground, wait to harvest until after the first frost, which will give them the best flavor.

They are great for diets also, being very low in calories and high in vitamins. They have been used to help control blood pressure and as a diuretic when passing kidney stones. Parsnips are a great addition to your diet since the uses are very versatile. They can be baked, pureed for soups or eaten raw in salads.

Looking for more ideas, check these recipes out;

Parsnips can be a bit picky to grow in the garden but they are easy to find in the fall at a local farmers market near you. Go ahead and plant a row late this summer and if it doesn't work out, you can always pick then up at the market, but just give them a try, you might just be surprised!

Thanks for stopping by this A to Z Challenge Post, I'll see you in the Garden!