Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Best Blog Tips

UPDATE: For recipes using this Lemon Curd, see my recipe for Creamy Vegan Lemon Curd Ice Cream with Rhubarb/Ginger Jam Swirl

and The Blooming Platter's Betsy DiJulio's recipes for Vegan Lemon Verbena Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Vegan Lemon Curd Filling and Vegan Basil-Blueberry and Lemon Curd Ice Cream (with Lemonade Cooler Option).

This sweet spread is adapted from a recipe by food writer William Woys Weaver. It's a really novel recipe using parsnips, of all things, as the base! That intrigued me, because it sounded a lot more healthful than a sugar/cornstarch mixture (although I do have a recipe for that type of vegan lemon curd, because I don't always have parsnips around the house!). However, I found his recipe way too sweet and not lemony enough, plus I wanted to make it quickly, so here's my version.

BTW, parsnips are virtually fat-free and very low in calories (only 60 calories in 1/2 cup when cooked). Parsnips are a good source of folate and also contains some iron. This root vegetable is also a source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and pantothenic acid. 1 cup of cooked parsnips gives you a hefty 6.4 grams of fiber, too!

The finished product
                              Printable Recipe

Yield: 2 1/4 cups

This lemon curd is delicious in tarts, as a cake filling, or as a spread on scones. NOTE: You can add a tiny bit of  natural food coloring for a more yellow or green look, if you like! (Here's another brand and one more.) You can also devise your own natural food color from your kitchen. For instance, some kale or spinach juice (from raw greens) can be used for a green color; or a bit of saffron water (soak a bit of saffron in hot water), or carrot or yellow beet juice to make the lemon curd a bit brighter yellow (you don't need much of either).  Here's an article on making food colorings.

NOTE: if you don't have a microwave oven, steam the cubed parsnips until tender instead of microwaving them, and cook the processed mixture in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking all the time, until thick and glossy. Proceed frm there as instructed in the recipe.

1 lb parsnips, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup light granulated unbleached organic sugar
3 tablespoons vegan butter (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan "Buttah")
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice (or you can use bottled organic juice)
finely grated zest of two large organic lemons or limes
1 pinch turmeric
1 tablespoon more lemon or lime juice

Microwave the parsnips with 1 cup water in a covered 2-qt. Pyrex dish for 10 minutes, or til very tender.

Drain if necessary and place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients, except for the last tablespoon juice. Process until very smooth.

Scrape the mixture into a 2 qt microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on 100% power for 4 1/2  minutes, uncovered. Whisk until smooth and microwave on 100% power for 4 1/2 minutes more. It should be thick and glossy. Add the remaining tablespoon juice and whisk vigorously for a minute or two. Scoop the mixture into a jar or dish, cover and refrigerate. Keeps 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts 
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons): 100.3 calories; 14% calories from fat; 1.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 11.7mg sodium; 110.0mg potassium; 22.2g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 18.1g sugar; 20.9g net carbs; 0.4g protein.

Nutrition for my recipe (per 4 teaspoons):
66.9 calories; 14% calories from fat; 1.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 7.8 mg sodium; 73.4mg potassium; 14.8g carbohydrates; 0.9g fiber; 12.1g sugar; 0.2g protein

Compare with the nutrition facts below from this conventional recipe:
Nutrition (per 4 teaspoons):

129 calories; 44% calories from fat; 6.4g total fat; 69mg cholesterol; 48 mg sodium; 24mg potassium; 17.5g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 16.9g sugars; 1.4g protein. Compared to a conventional recipe, my recipe contains: 1/2 the calories far less fat no cholesterol far less sodium 3x the potassium fewer carbs more fiber less sugar more protein



Bex said...

that is super neato. I must try this. I would have never thought of parsnips.

Amey said...

holy weirdness Bryanna. That's crazy. But, I trust your wise judgment. I've even got a spare parsnip in the fridge...

JohnP said...

Good heavens! I have to try this...

Andrew J said...

Wow! This sounds awesome, I can't wait to try it. I'm wondering if this can be canned in a water-bath canner so that it can be stored longer. Any thoughts on that?

ataraktos said...

Perfect "weirdness" for dbf's upcoming birthday (and cake) ... he loves parsnips but isn't crazy about desserts, so something different will peek his interest! :)

Lemon layer cake, parsnip lemon curd filling, vanilla frosting, yum!! Thanks!

Jen Treehugger said...

I LOVE Parsnips. Genius recipe btw - I was just thinking of veganising Lemon Curd earlier today!

tofufreak said...

whoa! that is some interesting stuff right there!

lower calorie vegan lemon curd?!
sounds like a must try :D

Lily Girl said...

Oh my heavens - a *vegan* lemon curd that I won't feel guilty about eating?!?! *Awesome*

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! It's the essence of lemon curd. "Delicious" doesn't do it justice.

I took some to work and had fun asking people to guess the ingredients. Naturally, no one guessed correctly. My one regret is not having a camera handy to record the looks on their faces when I told them it's parsnips.

Now, how about giving us a lemon version of your baked maple doughnuts, filled with this parsnip-based lemon curd? Mmmmm!

Ricki said...

Well, I LOVE anything dessert-like that uses veggies, and this is just weird enough that I think I must try it!

Anonymous said...

Is this curd bake-able, or should it only be added at the end of a recipe?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I've never baked with it-- just spooned it into baked tart shells, etc., but you could give it a try with a small batch, perhaps.

Take Paws said...

Wow! I was sceptical at first but it was just odd enough that I needed to try it. Thanks for posting the recipe...it's fab!

Lisa Viger said...

Wow, I never would have guessed parsnips! I'm going to have to try this!

Anonymous said...

Bryanna, is there a way to do this other than microwave? I don't mind using microwave ovens for a quick warm up. However, I'm leery of the long cooking times as they heat food to hotter levels than conventional cooking, and questions have been raised about the resulting never-before-seen compounds in such foods.



Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I have only used the microwave with this recipe. You could try cooking it in a double boiler, stirring all of the time. But I do not share your microwave concerns. Here is some info: https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYIHdJ5Z4ruUZHFocmdtMl8zMjJocGg4ODdnaA&hl=en_US