Parsnips are root vegetables, similar to carrots except they are white or ivory in color and have a much stronger flavor. Parsnips are rich in potassium and fiber, and can be eaten raw or cooked. While parsnips are not as common as they once were—before potatoes become popular—they are generally an easy crop to grow in the home garden. Parsnips should be eaten or stored within a couple days after harvesting or purchasing.
Store parsnips in the garden. You can keep parsnips in the ground throughout the winter. Add several layers of mulch to prevent freezing. Harvest as you want to eat them. Be sure, however, to harvest all the parsnips before new growth begins in the spring.
Store harvested or purchased parsnips in the refrigerator. Carefully wash them, cut off the tops and let them air dry. Then, wrap them loosely in a plastic bag and place in the crisper bin of the refrigerator. Place them near the back of the drawer where it is cooler, but be sure they don’t freeze. Parsnips stored in this manner should stay fresh for 2 to 6 months.
Bury parsnips. Remove the tops of the parsnips, bury them in moist sand and keep in a cool location, such as a root cellar, basement or garage. As long as temperatures are close to freezing (but not freezing), the parsnips will keep for up to 6 months.
Freeze parsnips by washing, topping and peeling them (like carrots). Then, cut into 1-inch chunks. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, and then immediately place them in cold water or run cold water over top of them to stop the cooking. Drain them well, and then place them in a freezer safe bag or container. Remove excess air and freeze. Use frozen parsnips within 6 months.