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There are still some lovely vegetables in the garden


As we settle into 2016 and I decide on my writing for this week I realise I have not mentioned my garden for ages. It's hardly been the weather for gardening and it is nearly always dark but feel I must mention the humble parsnip.

My vegetable garden is not the thing of beauty it was in the summer but is still productive none the less.

Along with kale, leeks and sprouts I am still harvesting parsnips. They are a great vegetable though I have to say when I was young I wasn't overly keen but now they are a real favourite.  The parsnip predates most veg and can be traced back to Roman times when they were often used as a sweetener before cane sugar.

Parsnips are quite an easy vegetable to grow too – following being thinned out when they are tiny that is more or less it until you are ready to eat them then just dig up what you want when you want – they won't come to any harm in the ground.

What do I make with parsnips ? Obviously there is purée which when mixed with mashed potato allows the dish to reheat successfully which isn't the case with mashed potato on its own. I roast them, rosti them and use them raw in salads but one of my recent favourite uses is making a cake with them.  I am so pleased with this recipe I have decided to share it. It's not often we can enjoy a slice of cake yet know we are ticking the "5 a day" box !

I feel inspired now to think about this spring's sowings. Even with a smallish veg plot like mine I still have to plan and adopt a micro crop rotation system to avoid diseases.

Have a good week, thanks for reading and try the "healthy" cake !

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