This week, we're digging parsnips. How to choose them, store them for a longer shelf-life and make the most of them in the kitchen.
Produce of the Week: Parsnips
It seems like as the weather cools, everyone is more and more interested in root veggies. And who can blame them? Root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, and beets are hearty and sweet.
Plus, they lend themselves to all kinds of culinary uses. From creamy purees to silky soups to just-crisp roasted veggies, we're stocking up on root veggies for all of our meals.
How to choose and store parsnips for longest shelf life
Parsnips may not be the most beautiful veggie out there. They do grow underground, after all. Sure, they usually sport a few hairs and they're a bit pale. But I kinda think they're so ugly they're cute.
And at the end of the day, we're here for the flavor and nutrients. To ensure your parsnip is the freshest, with the highest nutrient value and flavor, give it a squeeze. The veggie should be firm and hard, with very little give. If it's spongy or can be easily bent, it's past its prime. But it would still make a nice veggie broth!
Another great thing about root veggies like parsnips is how long they'll last. With the right storage, you can keep parsnips for several weeks.
While they don't need to be refrigerated, that's the best way to keep them fresh. Store them whole and unwashed (removing any greens first) in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. For even more protection, you can wrap the parsnips in a paper towel and store them in an airtight container, like a silicon bag.
Best Vegetarian Recipes with Parsnips
Even though they'll last for a couple of weeks, there's no reason not to eat your parsnips right away. And there are so many delicious ways to enjoy these root veggies.
Here are our favorite ways to cook with parsnips:
- Garlic Turmeric Parsnip Fries from Bucket List Tummy. These are crispy and super savory. They take roasted root veggies to another level. P.S: you can easily make these vegan by swapping in vegan parm.
- Toss some cubed parsnips into our easy Veggie and Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner. They'll get nice and caramelized--yum.
- Parsnip Fritters with Coriander Yogurt from The Last Food Blog. We love fritters all year long. Now that zucchini season is over, it's time to move on to parsnip fritters!
- Treat fresh parsnips like the potatoes in White Bean Vegetable Soup. Maple and parsnip are a delicious flavor pairing for fall.
- Parsnip-Leek Soup from Simply Sensational Food. This is a classic dish that never gets old.
- Slow Cooker Mashed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes from This Mama Cooks. We'll be saving this one for an easy make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish too.
- Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from Umami Girl. Bet ya didn't expect a dessert on this list! But yes, this delicous frosted quick bread lets you enjoy all the sweetness parsnips offer. To make gluten-free, simply sub in measure-for-measure gluten free flour.
Food Waste Tip: Always have a Plan
Before grocery shopping, take a moment to write down a meal plan. Consider the days and meals you'll be eating at home this week, versus eating out. I like to look at my calendar and to coordinate with my fiancé so I can guess how much we'll need to buy.
When I know how many meals I need to shop for, I'm much less likely to get carried away with stocking the fridge. It's also a great way to manage your grocery bill.
This meal planning time is also when I love to browse through recipes I've bookmarked. It's fun to remember a forgotten recipe for creamy mushroom risotto that I've been wanting to try. I'll check the kitchen for the ingredients I already have, and put anything missing on my shopping list. Finally I'll actually have everything I need to make it for dinner!
A few minutes of planning before heading to the store helps avoid over-stocking the fridge. Plus, it's a fun way to put some new recipes in your repertoire.
Currently Happening in the Food Industry: Water from Air
Annual rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable due to global warming. Here in the states, parts of the Southwest are expected to experience up to 20% decrease in rainfall during the Spring and Summer by 2070 (as compared to averages from 1976-2005). These drastic changes in precipitation but water availability into question.
And that's just in the states. A country with a relatively reliable drinking water supply. Worldwide, 1 in 9 people don't have access to clean drinking water, according to the Water Project. That translates to students missing 443 million school days every year due to water-related issues.
While we may take clean drinking water for granted now, it's a resource we all need to consider as climate change makes more of an impact to the environment.
Innovators like Israeli startup Watergen are developing the next wave of water coolers, built for these future circumstances. Their forthcoming product Genny is a home or office appliance that transforms moisture in the air into drinkable water. Genny can generate 27 liters of fresh water a day without plumbing or refills usually required by water coolers.
Watergen already has large-scale water supply products on the market. They installed their first commercial system in New Delhi in 2017. And they donated their products to the Red Cross and FEMA to bring relief to displaced victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
While Genny is available for pre-sale, the device's price is undisclosed publically. We will be staying tuned to see how accessible this technology becomes both in the US and West and in more water-scarce countries around the world.