Turnips are root vegetables. This simply means that they grow under the ground. There are other root vegetables like carrots, beets, and radishes. They are very rich in fiber and help to boost digestion. Fresh vegetables have a penchant for getting spoiled easily. Keep them at an unsuitable temperature and they begin to rot. Because veggies like these are most likely purchased in abundance, there is always the dilemma of how to preserve them.
Can you freeze turnips? Yes, you can. You can freeze turnips for a maximum of 6 months. Freezing would help you preserve the color, nutrients, and flavor. But, this would only work if you freeze them properly. Processes like blanching have to be carried out.
There are a variety of ways by which you can freeze turnips. As your recipe demands, you can freeze it to be cooked in stews and soups or roasted in the oven. Blanching helps to maintain the nutrients and keep your turnips safe to eat even during the winter. So, here’s how to freeze turnips.
How to Freeze Turnips
There are various ways to freeze turnips. But we would be focusing on two ways, for those that enjoy turnips in soups or those that love their veggies roasted.
- Freezing Turnips
- Freezing Roasted Turnips
When you need to freeze turnips, select small or medium-sized turnips. They have a subtle flavor that keeps them appealing when you bring them out of storage. The larger ones could have a stronger flavor that is unappealing. In easy-to-do steps, here’s how to freeze turnips.
Step 1: Preparation and Peeling
Don’t freak out just yet, it is not something elaborate. Turnips are root vegetables, meaning that they grow in the soil. So if you are pulling them fresh from the garden, you need to wash them. Give the turnips a good scrub. This can be done with a vegetable brush. Put aside any turnip that is not firm to the touch.
When you have a bowl of clean turnips, peel the turnips. This can be achieved with a vegetable peeler or a small knife. Be careful, so the knife doesn’t slip and cut you.
Step 2: Blanching
This is the most important step to freezing your turnips properly. After peeling the turnips, with a sharp knife, dice the peeled turnips into cubes. Place your turnips in the boiling water and let them boil for about 90 seconds. Kill the heat, drain the water, and transfer the cooking turnips into icy cold water. This is done to halt the cooking process.
Blanching stops the ripening process of vegetables and slows down enzymatic processes. This helps to keep the nutrients of the veggies intact. Once the turnips are cool to the touch, drain the water. You can dry them with a dry towel to reduce moisture.
Step 3: Pre-freezing
Veggies tend to clump together as they freeze. To prevent this, you need to flash freeze or pre-freeze. This is done by spreading the blanched turnips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the turnips individually with enough space between each one. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to freeze for a few hours.
Step 4: Storage and Freezing
After the turnips have been half-frozen, put them into airtight freezer containers, or Ziploc bags. A vacuum sealer will work best but it’s okay if you don’t have one. An airtight bag would do just fine. Suck out excess air from the bags before sealing.
With a sharpie, mark the date of storage on the bags so that you can keep track of how long you have stored them.
Freezing Roasted Turnips
Roasting seems to reduce the bitterness that comes with turnips. Roasted turnips are delicious. Roasting turnips take a little bit of time when compared to blanching.
Step 1: Roasting
Before freezing roasted turnips you have to roast them first. Wash the turnips, peel them, and cut them into cubes. Put the turnips into the oven with some olive oil and season to taste. Roasting time is about 30 minutes or till tender.
Step 2: Cooling and Flash-freezing
After roasting, you need to let the turnips cool down to room temperature. Once it has cooled down the next thing is to flash freeze. The flash freeze process is done the same way you flash freeze blanched turnips.
Step 3: Storage and Freezing
Put the half-frozen turnips into Ziploc or airtight freezer bags. Follow the storage and freezing process mentioned above.
How to Defrost Turnips
Blanched or Roasted Turnips do not need to be thawed before usage. They can be used while still in their frozen state. Just grab a portion or handful according to the measurement stated in your recipe and toss them into the cooking pan.
However, if you want to cook blanched turnips, place them into a pan of boiling water. Boil till it is fork-tender. You can check this by sticking a fork into the thickest part of the turnip.
Can You Refreeze Turnips?
Refreezing food items is not a great idea as the rate of degradation of quality will increase. With turnips, the problem with freezing and refreezing is that the texture rapidly breaks down upon refreezing.
To avoid refreezing, you can freeze your turnips in sizable portions so that you don’t have to pull the whole pack out of the freezer.