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Food Tip of the Week: Parsnips

Food Tip of the Week: Parsnips

          Parsnips, unjustly neglected by many of us today, are easy to prepare and offer a healthy stand-in for potatoes as a side dish. It also makes an excellent addition to soups and stews. Though not as popular as potatoes, they might very well be the thing missing from your weekly menu.

          The vegetable resembles a top-heavy, ivory-colored carrot, but has a mild celery-like fragrance and a sweet, nutty flavor. There are several common varieties that are all similar in size, taste, and color. The All American is the most popular variety followed by the Hollow Crown Improved and Harris Model.

          Parsnips are not a major commercial crop, but they are available year-round peaking during the months between October and May. The largest producers are Northern California and Michigan. Parsnips are one of the few vegetables that benefit from an early frost. The cold turns its starch to sugar, giving it its sweet, nutty flavor.

          So if you’re up to the challenge, replace the old mash potatoes for something a little sweeter and let your taste buds explore.

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