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I first made parsnip hashbrowns by accident. I didn’t know that the starches in parsnips caramelize and brown better than potatoes. I left grated parsnips frying over low heat. When I came back and flipped them, my jaw dropped. Ha! I had struck gold without even looking for it.
After that mesmerizing moment and the meal that followed I tried to improve on the accident…
How, I pondered, to get all the parsnip evenly and completely golden? How not to burn parts of the parsnip hash, as it seemed apt to burn? How to get the middle cooked completely? How to make all the little pieces hold together when I flipped sections?
What seemed a great start ended up a cook’s conundrum. Perfect parsnips apparently were more elusive that accidental hashbrowns.
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I bring you this post about a year later, after trying lots of methods. I am SO excited to share with you the key points to success.
BECAUSE. Parsnip hashbrowns are the BEST. They’re sweeter than potatoes, like spiced, roasted carrots– but sweeter. But they’re also soul food, like potatoes, completely visceral and pleasure-providing. AND they’re crunchy. The exterior is a crunchy hashbrown dream; and the interior is soft, like cooked potato.
Step 1 and a key to hashbrown success is to first saute the grated parsnip in a pan. This partially cooks the veggie, so the finished hashbrowns are cooked through to the middle without the exterior burning.
Step 2 includes adding flour to the parsnips, so they cling together when flipped, and for the best overall texture outcome. I’ve tried parsnip hashbrowns lots of times and lots of ways with no flour, and they’re not as good. This recipe uses the best grain-free flour: cassava. It’s healthy, yet white, starchy, and delicious. It even adds a bit of resistant starch. If you don’t yet have it in your pantry, I recommend it. It’s a staple in our house.
Step 3 is to bake the hashbrowns (in rounds), which ensures even browning. Frying the hash in a pan it’s very hard not to end up with some of the hash burned and some of it under-cooked.
And those… are the three keys to parsnip hashbrown success! May you enjoy, now, the sweetest, best, PALEO hashbrowns.
Nutritionally, parsnips provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps one’s blood sugar levels, promotes healthy digestion and regulates cholesterol levels.
Excellent for grain-free diets, they’re a complex carbohydrate, providing a long-term energy yield similar to sweet potatoes. Parsnips are also high in Vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals.
Our family loves them for Sunday breakfast, alongside sausage and eggs, with coffee or hot chocolate. Ultimate brunch comfort food that’s also nourishing!