November 10, 2011

Sugar-free, grain-free sweet parsnip bread

Hello all!

It's my sixth week of the sugar-free challenge and I am quite excited to share another recipe with you.
For this recipe, I was thinking of all the vegetables one could use to make sweet cakes and desserts. There are the usual suspects - carrot, sweet potato, zucchini and beetroot, of course. But parsnips have been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember, and I've been meaning to use them in a cake for a while. You could easily make a carrot version of this sweet bread, but if you are keen to try something different, I urge you to give a go at parsnips. This is a sweet bread, but perfect served at breakfast or morning/afternoon tea with a big dollop of cinnamon yoghurt or organic butter, if you prefer. I love to toast a couple of thick slices and savour them with a big cup of spicy herbal tea.

On the note of the sugar-free challenge, I was so happy to be featured in Sarah's inspirational blog earlier this week. Sarah's e-book 'I Quit Sugar' was the driving force for this challenge, and I am ever so grateful to her. Thank you Sarah!

Sweet Parsnip Bread
(adapted from Elana's recipe)

300g almond meal
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 eggs (free-range, organic)
60ml extra-virgin olive oil or melted organic butter
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup*
300g grated parsnips
150g chopped walnuts

* brown rice syrup is available at health food stores. Rice syrup is a low glucose alternative to other sweeteners, like raw honey. You can leave this out altogether, if you prefer.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a medium sized loaf tin or a 12-cup muffin tin. 

2. Mix together the almond meal, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. 

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and brown rice syrup. Stir in the grated parsnips and chopped walnuts.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients. 

5. Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until firm to touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving. The bread should be moist, not crumbly, so be careful with the baking time and make sure to check during baking as every oven is different.


  1. Parsnip bread??? You seriously come up with the most original recipes. When are you going to stop sharing them on your blog and save them for a cook book?! (see how selfless I am, I would sacrifice receiving your recipes so that you can have a cook book hehe). Well, regarding parsnip, I do like them but mostly baked or fried (parsnip chips!) so yes, I'm unhealthy ;) Speaking of parsnip/carrot though, I've been itching to bake a carrot cake lately...

  2. Such a great idea to use parsnips! The texture of the bread looks lovely.

  3. Beautiful! Parnsip is great to bake with. That bread must taste amazing!



  4. Ooooh I LOVE the sound of this!! I've been a huge parsnip lover for years too. It's such an underused vegetable, so I'm glad to see you're using it in this yummy bread. Yum!

  5. I'm really intrigued by parsnip bread, mainly because I really hate parsnips! However, I keep wondering if, when baked and mixed with other bread/cake ingredients, their distinctive strong flavour would mellow, rather as carrot does in carrot cake. I also really like the sound of this bread and might have to try it to see if I can get over my dislike!

  6. Ihanasti toteutettu leipä! Meillä täällä ei ole palsternakkaa, vaan ainoastaan persiljajuurta,mutta tuon voisi korvata jollain toisella juureksella.

  7. I love the flavor of parsnips and your bread looks delicious!

  8. I've just found your blog via someone's pinterest and wow, I'm amazed by your photography. Subscribing right now! :)

  9. Hello Maria! While I wasn't here you were doing sugar free challenge? Wow... my friend who's getting married in April is doing no sugar/oil/carb diet for a week this week. I rely on sugar and carb for my stress relief so much. I need to change my way. I love your photos as always and feel great to see something healthy here all the time. I'm truly inspired to live better. :-)

  10. Wow, I would love to try this, as I like parsnip, looks good

  11. Ahhh, that looks so good! Back in the days before I went gluten-free I had a few parsnip birthday cakes made by my friend who attended the Culinary Institute of America, and they were to die for. Thanks for the gluten-free awesomeness. :-)

  12. Wow, yummy! I have been sugarfree on and off for years but just started hitting back at it hard this month and it's been so much more fun as now so many fabulous bloggers are doing it too!

    Your recipes and work is amazeballs!

  13. I've been using lots of parsnips too but I never ever thought of making bread with them. Excellent recipe!

  14. this sounds amazing! I'm not a huge fan of parsnips but I'm willing to give this a go. Yum and it's great to hear your sugar-free change is going so well.

  15. Oh! I love Parsnips! I had them for the first time this season with my roast dinner last Sunday... drizzled Golden Syrup over them before roasting... so good! xx

  16. Who would have thought! This sounds amazing....will have to see if there are any late season parsnips still skulking around!

  17. Wonderful! I bought Sarah's ebook, too, and I'm in the middle of "NoSugarVember" right now. Before this experiment, though, I made parsnip cookies with quinoa, with added sugar. Now I reckon it could be adapted to avoid sugar altogether (no maple glaze, then).

  18. VERY interesting recipe.
    I haven't bought Sarah's book yet, but I follow her blog posts every Friday with great interest and her going sugar-free is quite an inspiration.
    Keep nourishing so nicely this beautiful blog, Maria!

  19. Hi ya

    I've just been cruising around your blog. Nice work! I've just started Sarah's 8 week IQS challenge, on day 2 right now.

    Your parsnip post reminded me of the most out there parsnip recipe I've ever come across - parsnip lemon's the link. Of course you'd have to change the sugar part of it but that's probably doable!


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