Vegetarian parsnip bake – easy recipe

I love parsnips, especially in the winter and came across this simple recipe which I thought I’d share.  I’m sure those nice people at Goodness Foods won’t mind too much.  
Makes six servings but for the above photo I have doubled the quantities.
1.5lbs parsnips, peeled, topped and tailed.  Cut or slice into smaller chunks for boiling
1oz butter (or a vegan alternative like Pure but not quite so nice)
generous dash of milk (the creamier the better but semi-skimmed is okay)
3oz grated cheddar cheese
3oz chopped nuts (peanuts or mixed nuts are ideal)
3 desert spoons of cranberry jelly or sauce
handful of fresh chopped parsley (or a desert spoonful of dried herbs)
handful of cranberries
1oz of breadcrumbs
Method:
  1. preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. grease the cooking dish with a little butter
  3. boil the parsnips for about 10 minutes; until they’re soft
  4. once the parsnips are cooked and drained, add the butter, herbs and milk before mashing
  5. spoon about half of the mashed parsnip into a oven dish and smooth over
  6. spoon on a thin layer of cranberry sauce and evenly sprinkle some of the nuts across the dish
  7. cover with the remaining parsnip, smooth over with the back of a spoon
  8. add the remaining mash parsnip, smooth over
  9. spoon on a little more cranberry sauce and spread it evenly around
  10. sprinkle the remaining nuts, breadcrumbs, cranberries and finally the cheese
  11. bake for 15 – 20 mins, until golden brown

It’s as simple as that and really tasty and nutritious provding you go easy on the butter or replace it with a healthier alternative yourself.  As parsnips are the principle ingredient, it’s worth bearing in mind they are high in fibre and contain potassium (helps maintain good blood pressure), vitamins C and K and folic acid .  

The cranberries are good as indeed all fruit is but I was a little alarmed when I read the ingredients on the packet of Whitworth’s dried cranberries. Among the health properties of cranberries are they are full of antioxidants and reputed to be good for urinary tract problems, especially infections. The first ingredient is sugar, followed by dried cranberries (41%) and vegetable oil.  To be fair, Whitworths are not the only ones doing this, other packs of cranberries from other sources have been similar.  I’m sure you’ll agree it is a shame, having all that sugar.
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