Saturday, May 1, 2010

Parsnip muffins

While trying to think up some creative ways to use up all the parsnips we have (freshly dug up out of my father-in-law's garden), I was thinking about how to use them in a baked good. I mean, they are similar in taste and texture to a carrot, so why not use them in a bread, cake, or muffin? I decided to try a muffin because I like to have around something that is easy for us to grab and eat in the mornings or take to work during the week. These muffins were sweet, but not too sweet, and had a faint parsnip taste to them. My husband couldn't guess the secret ingredient, but as soon as I told him what it was, he could tell there were parsnips in there. I didn't want them to be spicy like a carrot cake, but rather light and spring-like. This makes one dozen muffins. They are extra tasty topped with some lemon curd (one of my favorite things).

Parsnip muffins
1 cup cooked and pureed parsnips
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1/3 cup plain, non-fat Greek (or regular) yogurt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest and 1 teaspoon juice of one lemon
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)

Peel and slice your parsnips and cook in boiling water until soft. Then drain, puree in a food processor, and measure out 1 cup of puree. In a large bowl, add the yogurt and coconut and stir. This will help soften the coconut. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with muffin papers or by spraying with a non-stick spray.

Since you are already using the food processor to puree the parsnips, you may as well use it for the rest of the mixing! In your food processor, add the butter, sugars, and eggs. Mix on the cream setting until just blended. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt and mix together. Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the into the yogurt mixture. Add the parsnip puree, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla and whisk together until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the raisins, if using.

Pour even amounts into the muffin cups and bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly. Let cool.

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