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If you are one of the many types of people that over estimate what they need when planting their garden (or be prepared, as we like to say) you may find yourself with an overabundance of radishes as well as other crops. How do you make sure they do not go bad? Can you freeze radishes?
So, can you freeze radishes? Yes, you can! In fact, freezing radishes for long term storage is one of the best food preservation techniques you can use. Essentially, to freeze radishes is a 4 step process; clean, cut, blanch, & freeze. Frozen radishes may lose some taste and texture, as well as a small bit of nutrients but they will stay good for up to 6 months which is long enough to get to your next gardening season.
With out further ado, let’s get into the process.
How To Freeze Radishes
Freezing is one of the best methods to preserve most of your garden crops. Learning to freeze radishes is not too much different than freezing zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, and green beans. If you are familiar with how to blanch then you will have no problem preserving your radishes, as well.
Let’s get started with our supply list. To freeze radishes you are going to need:
- vegetable cleaning brush
- 2 colanders (one for cleaning and one for blanching)
- knife or mandolin slicer
- large stock pot
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cup
- freezer bags
- sharpie or marker
Start by washing them
The first step in preserving radishes, and any vegetable really, is to make sure it is good and clean. Since radishes are considered root vegetables they are going to be pretty dirty. Fortunately, cleaning them isn’t too hard.
Simply, run your radishes under cold water and gently scrub the dirt off of the radish. You can do this by hand or by using a vegetable cleaning brush. These are designed to remove excess dirt without damaging the skin or edible parts of the vegetable.
We also recommend using a colander while cleaning to make sure your sink does not end up clogged with dirt and mud.
Cut into slices
Take a sharp knife or your mandolin slicer and prepare to cut your radishes. You will want to slice them into thin slices or ‘medallions’. You want them to be thin but not transparently thin. About 1/8″ – 1/4″ should work well.
Do make sure to remove the ends and discard them. Like with cucumbers, squash, and other veggies, the ends contain an enzyme that will allow the radish to continue to age even when frozen. If you cut them off that enzyme is no longer an issue once you blanch.
Blanch your radishes
Now it’s time to blanch your radishes. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add all of your radish medallions to a colander small enough to fit into the pot.
Once your pot of water is at a rolling boil, gently lower the colander of radishes into the water. Set a timer for 2 – 3 minutes. While the radishes are boiling, prepare a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice.
Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the colander of radishes from the boiling water and put them into the ice water bath. This is to instantly cool the radishes and stop the cooking process. We cook for a short period of time to destroy the enzymes we mentioned earlier which will allow the radish to continue to age. This will stop that from happening.
Once cooled, take the radishes out of the ice bath and dry them off. They do not have to be completely dry, just free of excess water. Patting them dry with a paper towel should do just fine.
Time to freeze them
Depending on how many radishes you are freezing you will want to get the appropriate amount of freezer bags. Use a sharpie or a marker to label the freezer bag with the contents, quantity, and date.
A single serving of radish medallions is around 1 measured cup. Add a scoop or 2 to the freezer bag, label it appropriately, and stick in your freezer. It should only take a few hours for them to freeze completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the more common questions we came across while researching this topic.
Q1. How do you defrost frozen radishes?
Freezing radishes does no good if you don’t know how to defrost them to use later. It’s easy to thaw them though. Simply run them under cold water until you no longer see any ice crystals and they are flexible again.
Q2. How long will frozen radishes keep in the freezer?
Radishes will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months. After that, they may still be edible but will begin to go through some flavor and textural changes. Additionally, they will start to lose some of their nutrients.
Q3. Will freezing ruin radishes?
Freezing will not ruin radishes. Freezing radishes is a great way to preserve their nutrients and flavor for an extended period of time. However, as we mentioned above, it is possible for them to change flavor, texture, and lose nutrients if frozen for too long.
Q4. Can you freeze without blanching?
It is not recommended to freeze radishes without blanching. Blanching removes the enzyme that causes the radish to age even after freezing. If frozen without blanching, your radishes will continue to age and rot, even in the freezer!
Q5. Can you freeze radish greens?
Let no part of your harvest go to waste! You can even freeze radish greens. Believe it or not, it’s even easier than freezing radishes. All you need to do is blanch them for 10 seconds, dry them, bag them, and freeze them. Easy peasy!
Q6. What other ways can you preserve radishes?
If freezing isn’t your thing, there are a few other ways to preserve radishes. You can pickle them, ferment them, and even dehydrate them. Each of these options requires there own process and each have their own freezer life.
Freezing radishes really is a simple food preservation technique. Now you know how to keep your radishes fresh and you can stay fully stocked in between gardening seasons.