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Recipe: Spiced Parsnip-Apple Muffins

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Spiced Parsnip-Apple Muffins
Yields 12
Fresh Food is a culinary training program for women who face barriers to employment, and the program also produces healthy meals made with local ingredients for area preschools. The kitchen team is adept at incorporating nutritious, fresh produce into their recipes, like puréed kale in taco meat filling and sweet potato in macaroni and cheese. When we asked them for a parsnip recipe, they launched “The Great Parsnip Challenge” and came up with many creative ways to feature parsnips, including this tender, just-sweet-enough muffin. We don’t believe in hiding vegetables, but we promise kids won’t know they’re in there if you don’t tell them.
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  1. ½ cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
  2. 1 cup coarsely grated apple (from about 1 medium 6-ounce apple, 
no need to peel)
  3. 1 cup coarsely grated parsnip (from about 1 medium 4-ounce parsnip, trimmed and peeled)
  4. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  5. ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  6. ½ cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (plus more to sprinkle on top, if desired)
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  11. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  12. ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  13. Pinch of fine salt if using unsalted butter
  14. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room 
  15. ¾ cup honey
  16. 2 eggs
  17. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Generously butter or spray a 12-cup muffin pan (cups and top) and lightly dust cups with flour.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together applesauce, grated apple and grated parsnip and set 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and pinch of salt, if using.
  5. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and honey until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely before adding the second egg. (Mixture may look curdled.) Beat in vanilla.
  6. On low speed, mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture in three parts, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  7. Stir in applesauce mixture.
  8. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Sprinkle tops lightly with additional oats, if desired.
  9. Bake 22 to 24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove muffins from pan to finish cooling.
  1. Photo by Ken Burris.
Adapted from Chef Robin Burnett and the team at the Fresh Food program of Vermont Works for Women
Adapted from Chef Robin Burnett and the team at the Fresh Food program of Vermont Works for Women
Vermont Life Magazine
Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at and follow her on Twitter at

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