Turnips are versatile root vegetables that have been utilized in diverse cuisines for centuries.
These raw turnips, which are sometimes mistaken with swedes (aka rutabagas), were used for their turnip roots and the turnip greens in the Antebellum south in America.
They produce edible greens within weeks of being planted in the soil.
Turnips are fantastic when paired with raw carrots or sweet potatoes in stew.
They present a mild flavor, but it is noticeable to the average palate.
Freezing turnips utilizing freezer containers that are carefully stored can be an excellent way to increase the life of these root vegetables while keeping them tasty.
Purchasing firm turnips is the best way to ensure your veggies will still be delicious after months in the freezer.
Be advised frozen turnips can last in the freezer for up to six months.
Here are some different ways to freeze turnips, ensuring the best quality.
Freezing raw turnips is a unique process.
It is recommended that consumers blanch many raw veggies before freezing, which is the case for freezing turnips.
Blanching is a method of cooking the turnips just enough until the process destroys enzymes that may affect the turnips’ color and flavor.
Typically, this process shouldn’t last more than thirty to sixty seconds.
Moreover, it is agreed that the following step, after blanching, is to “shock” the turnips.
This one includes placing the turnips in cold water after you blanch them.
It is essential not to keep the veggies in the cold water for too long, as they will become soggy and distasteful.
Here are the steps to freezing raw turnips:
- Wash and peel the turnips, and cut them into 2-inch cubes.
- Fill a sizeable bowl with ice-cold water.
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil.
- Place one pound of turnips in the boiling water, and when it comes back to a boil, set a timer for sixty seconds.
- Drain the turnips, and place them in the ice-cold water.
- Drain the turnips again after one minute.
- After drying the turnips with a paper towel, place them on a baking sheet or another hard surface in a single layer and set it in the freezer for two hours.
- After the two hours, place the turnips into freezer containers or a plastic bag and your freezer.
Mashed turnips can make a wonderful and tasty substitute for mashed potatoes when paired with dishes like roasted meat.
They look like potatoes but have a sharper taste.
Their creamy texture makes them perfect for mashing.
Read on to find out how to freeze mashed turnips so you have your side dish ready ahead of time.
Remember, mashed turnips will remain good in the freezer for up to three months.
- Wash and trim the turnips, peeling them and then cutting them into chunks.
- Boil water in a large pot.
- Place the turnips into the boiling water, covering the pan. Cook until tender, checking with a fork.
- Drain the turnips and mash them.
- Pack the mashed turnips into freezer containers – be sure to leave half an inch of space between the mashed turnips and the lid of the freezer container.
Roasted turnips are a burst of flavor; the process of roasting cuts a bit of the turnip’s sharpness and provides a tenderness that other methods do not.
If you’re looking for a quick way to be prepared with a delicious addition to your meals, read on to find out how to freeze roasted turnips.
Remember that you can reheat them at 350 F, and add seasoning to taste.
You can also add frozen turnips to soups or stews:
- Heat your oven to 425 F.
- Wash and trim the turnips, cutting them into cubes or wedges.
- Toss the turnips with olive oil and salt to your taste.
- Place the turnips on a baking sheet in one layer.
- Roast the turnips for thirty minutes, or until you can tell they are tender with a fork.
- When removing the turnups, let them cool on the baking pan for fifteen minutes.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour and a half to two hours – whenever you can feel that they are frozen.
- Transfer the frozen turnips into a freezer container or bag.
How to defrost turnips
So you’ve completed freezing turnips.
Now you may be wondering what the best method is to defrost them so that you can use them in your meal plans.
There are a few tried and true methods to defrost vegetables successfully.
1. Roast ‘em
As noted above, one of the quickest ways to defrost your turnips is to roast them for thirty minutes at 350 F, after adding any seasoning you’d like.
This method will likely preserve the most original flavor from the turnips themselves, making it an excellent and quick way for your mid-week meals.
2. Add frozen veggies to soups and stews
The hot broths in your soups and stews will naturally cook your frozen turnips.
Adding frozen turnips to your already cooking meals is a simple way to add heartiness and flavor.
3. Smash ‘em
After boiling your frozen turnips until tender again, feel free to mash them up.
Turnips make for great mashed veggies with their interesting flavor and smooth texture.
The exception for the above recommendations is defrosting the turnip mash, which you will want to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Once it is soft, place the mash in a pan and warm on very low heat, adding milk or butter to bring out its smooth and creamy texture.
Can you freeze turnips without blanching them?
All fruits and vegetables have enzymes and bacteria that can destroy their color, flavor, and texture during the freezing process.
Although it does take an added step, blanching your turnips before freezing them is the best way to ensure quality, taste, and longevity.
This process preserves nutrients and flavor and is the expertly recommended way to freeze turnips.
Tips and tricks on how to freeze turnips
1. Microwave heat
It is challenging to reheat most vegetables in the microwave, which is the case for the dense turnips you’ve frozen.
Adding a bit of water to a bowl with frozen turnips may help the cooking process, but you risk drying out the turnips or even burning them.
2. Freezer bags
It is crucial when freezing turnips to remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible – if you’re choosing to use a bag instead of a container.
One helpful trick is the “straw method.” Simply invest in a plastic straw or find one around the house.
Place the straw on the side of the freezer bag and seal the bag right up until it hits the straw.
Suck the remaining air out of the bag and then quickly zip it shut, ensuring that most of the air is out of the bag
3. Date and label your bags and containers
Your life might be fast-paced, which is probably why you’re thinking ahead of how to create fast and easy side dishes.
It is difficult to remember the various lengths of time in which your roasted, blanched, or mashed turnips will go bad in the freezer.
For this reason, you must date and label your bags or containers when freezing your turnips to avoid getting freezer burn on your turnips.
4. Invest in a vacuum bag sealer
If you’re looking to freeze vegetables and fruits like turnips frequently, you may want to consider investing in a vacuum sealing bag system.
These appliances suck the remaining air out of your freezer bags, creating the proper seal around the veggies.
This assurance against excess air will lock in various attributes of the turnip, such as color, texture, and even flavor.
The bottom line
Turnips are a flexible and tasty root vegetable that has been used in various cuisines for centuries.
Their ability to be cooked in various ways makes them a versatile side dish for a wide variety of pairings.
Freezing raw turnips is a simple process that requires blanching, but turnips can also be roasted or mashed before being put in the freezer.
Each of these methods ensures your frozen turnips will be good for months – making them an easy addition to stews and other meat-based meals.
Defrosting frozen turnips is also an easy process and can be done by roasting them, adding them to stews and soups, or mashing them after bringing them to a tender boil again.
It is not recommended to freeze raw turnips without blanching them.
Remember that microwaving frozen turnips is not the best method for defrosting.
It is difficult to monitor the thawing process and often leads to unevenly burnt turnips, turnips that are still frozen in the middle, and even slimy turnips.
When using freezer bags, use the straw method to ensure as little air as possible remains in the bag.
Now that you’ve learned how to prepare your turnips for freezing properly, it’s time to get started.
Here is a great list of turnip recipes to use those roasted, frozen turnips!
These simple prepping methodologies will provide you with robustly flavorful and smoothly textured side dishes for months.