In our family, everyone is allowed one vegetable they dislike and can choose to avoid: my daughter’s is Brussels sprouts – though perversely she chooses to eat them at Christmas! – my son doesn’t like cooked carrots (I used to grate them into stews and casseroles to hide them), and my husband picks out all the mushrooms. For me, as regular followers on Twitter will know, it’s parsnips. I hate parsnips. No, that’s not quite true: I have a real phobia about parsnips. Just writing the word makes me wince and feel queasy. I shudder at the mere thought.
I have no idea how this began. I don’t recall any parsnip trauma growing up. I don’t ever remember them being served up, though my mum eats them when offered. She even brought a can of Parsnip Soup with her recently – vegetarian or otherwise, I was nearly sick! Perhaps my dad didn’t like them. My own family is split firmly down the middle when it comes to this vegetable: my husband and daughter love them while my son and I recoil in horror whenever they appear. In our house, they are bought, prepared, cooked and served by my husband once a year at Christmas, when he makes roast parsnip chips. He loves them.
It’s not just the taste that is off-putting to me, there are other root vegetables that I’m not keen on, like swede and turnip, but I still have them in soups and stews.
Nope, it’s the smell! I can’t be anywhere near the kitchen when parsnips are being peeled. I have tried, really tried to get over this. I haven’t felt this strongly about a vegetable since my first pregnancy when I couldn’t be around potatoes in any way, shape or form.
When I first began juicing (see My First Juice Plan: Advice for Beginners or Do As I Say Not As I Did!), I followed Jason Vale’s 5lbs in 5 Days juicing plan. I was so excited at this new challenge, looking forward to not just losing some of the weight that had crept up during the previous year, but having more energy, feeling more alert and generally a lot healthier.
I did so well. The plan delivered in every respect: as promised, by Day 4 I was on a ‘juicy high’.
But, dear reader, imagine my dismay, my sheer horror when Day 5 came around and there, right front and centre was not one but two (!) juices called Pear ‘n’ Parsnip! Jason promised I would be surprised and have ‘a newfound respect’ for the humble parsnip.
I summoned up the strength and determination of hundreds of doughty ancestors, intent on not falling at the final hurdle. I even attempted to peel the parsnips myself, with a scarf over my face! I will admit, it wasn’t as I expected and I did drink them both down, but I can’t say it was a pleasant experience – because I could still smell them!
Not to be discouraged by my first attempt, I tried again a few months later. I am nothing if not stubborn and determined, I don’t like something to get the better of me.
But, Jason, I’m sorry, you did your best, I know you did, but I can’t, I just can’t…
Except that I did! In December, I began following Natural Juice Junkie‘s Winter Cleanse 2015. Loved the Winter Slammer (see Juicy Winter Warmers), The Beet Goes On, the raw Pea and Mint Soup and Pearfection.
But what’s this on Day 2? Hang on, not just Day 2 but Day 4 – twice: ‘Back to my Roots’, which means *4* parsnips in total!
Well, nothing ventured nothing gained, I am no wimp. Down the hatch they went. Still didn’t like them. But I did it. Very proud of myself. That’s it then.
But no, there was more!!
On Day 5, I discover the final meal of the plan is – drum roll – Parsnip and Ginger Soup which also has not 1, not 2, but *4* parsnips in the ingredients list!
Neil, you’ve broken me. I can’t go on. I have to draw the line. From now on I shall be replacing parsnips with squash. Or sweet potato. Total immersion therapy has not worked for me!
NO MORE PARSNIPS!
Here is my take on Jason’s Pear ‘n’ Parsnip Juice, replacing the parsnip with sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants, B vitamins, Vitamin D, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Use organic if possible, scrub well and leave the skin on for extra nutrients and flavour. You won’t be disappointed!
(Unless you have a sweet potato phobia!)
1 Apple, 2 Pears,
1 large sweet potato
Half a lime, peeled but with the pith still on
Few sprigs of mint
Juice all the ingredients and pour over ice. So refreshing. Cheers!
Update: My daughter-in-law, who loves parsnips, recently posted a video for my benefit of my 3 year old grand-daughter chomping on a raw ‘yellow carrot!’ <sigh> My daughter-in-law loathes celery and so my son delighted in posting this rejoinder: ‘don’t worry, I fed them both celery afterwards!’
Disclaimer: Please remember, these are my personal experiences. If you think you may wish to embark on a juice plan, be sure to consult your doctor first.
Copyright: Chris McGowan
12 thoughts on “Pears But No More Parsnips: In Which I Confront My Parsnip Phobia!”
I have never even seen a parsnip, let alone tasted one. Now I am curious. What do they smell like? I imagine they are similar to a turnip or rutabega? I love that your family was allowed one vegetable each to dislike! I agree with your dad. I hate mushrooms.
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I had to look up rutabaga! We call them Swedes. I’m not keen on turnips or swedes but do use them in soups or casseroles and have even put turnip in a juice! Parsnips look like large anaemic carrots! Mushrooms are my favourite, especially chestnut variety, I have them nearly every day in some form.
Yes, I’ve heard turnips and their kin add great flavor to stews and soups. I have never had one to my knowledge. I’ll have to experiment if I can find them in Mexico.
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