I have discovered a new food this winter…the parsnip! It started with the parsnip chips, which I tried on a whim and have made many times since. Then I discovered this fabulous Carrot Parsnip ‘Cakes’ at Whole Foods. They are in the prepared section near the Mac ‘N Cheese balls. It is kind of like a potato pancake with shredded carrots and parsnips. I have searched the web, but can’t find a recipe anywhere. I will have to figure it out for myself. Next time you are at WF, check them out! I usually heat mine in the microwave…yum yum!
During one of these searches, I happened to come across this recipe for Spiced Parsnip and Apple Muffins on the Whole Foods website. Above you can find the link to the original recipe and then below, I will share with you some of the modifications that I made in an attempt to ‘clean’ them up.
The first step is to toast your pecans at 350 degrees. I bought my pecans already chopped in order to cut out a step. Toast for 10 minutes. You will know they are ready because the kitchen smalls wonderful!
Then start shredding the parsnips and apple. My grader has two sides and I chose to use the finer/smaller side. This was definitely an arm workout! Luckily the apple was easier to shred. Since the apple is peeled, the two mixtures look the same, but the texture is very different.
Then combine dry ingredients. I substituted whole wheat and spelt flour for the white all-purpose flour. I also cut the sugar in half and used Sucanat, a sugar used in many clean recipes. Stir in toasted pecans and golden raisins.
Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients. I used 1/2 cup safflower oil and 1/4 cup applesauce. Fold the wet mixture and parsnip/apple mixture into the dry ingredients. This was a little harder than I expected because I had to make sure that all 3 mixtures were combined without over mixing.
I got these adorable Paula Deen muffin cups at Michael’s. They had a few options to choose from and they were only $0.99. Go check them out, they will add some exciting color to your baking. I used a measuring cup to pour the batter into muffin cups. I think I didn’t fill my muffins high enough because I was able to get 24 muffins. They baked for ~25 minutes.
I was so excited to try the muffins, I was barely able to let them cool. The muffin is probably drier than if I had used the white flour. It has a hearty taste and the pecans and raisins are a fun twist. My final outcome…these muffins will make a great, healthier breakfast option, but I might use a little more apple (or bigger sized pieces) next time. AND, if I were bringing them to a brunch, I would use half whole wheat and half white flour and play with the amount of sugar (between 1/2 cup and 1 cup) depending on preference.
The real THM (Take Home Message) is never be afraid to try new foods, such as parsnips, and experiment with fun recipes. One website that I read said that you can replace your shredded carrot in cakes and breads with parsnip…something I will definitely be trying soon!
Let me know…what new foods are you loving this year?