Turnips get a bad rap sometimes. I know I grew up thinking they looked disgusting (while I saw and happily ate my mashed potatoes). Turns out, not only are they not disgusting, they are actually quite delicious! So much so that we, in typical fashion, planted waaaaayy more in our square foot garden than we really should have. And that of course leads us to the question, can you freeze turnips and use them later?
So, can you freeze turnips? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, you can freeze turnips in several different ways; blanched, unbalanced, raw, cooked, roasted, mashed, or sliced. Freezing them will more than double their life from 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge (and less at room temp) to 6 months or more in the freezer.
You don’t even need to thaw them when you are ready to use them. Just toss them in whatever recipe you are making and they’re good to go.
Now that you know there are many ways to freeze turnip, keep on reading to learn how to do them and which is right for you!
Can You Freeze Turnips?
You can easily freeze turnips. Freezing turnips is similar to the techniques used to freeze some other foods. Which you use really depends on how you want to prep your turnip before hand.
For example, if you want to freeze them raw you can follow the same instructions from freezing carrots. Mashed turnips freeze the same as freezing mashed potatoes or freezing mashed sweet potatoes. Sliced turnips will follow the same steps as freezing radishes or freezing beets (if blanched) and even freezing oranges (if unblanched)!
You get the idea.
|Blanched||1 to 1:30 minutes (1 lb at a time)|
|Time To Freeze||2 to 4 hours (flash freeze)|
12 to 24 (deep freeze)
|Time to Thaw||a few hours in the fridge|
add to recipes frozen
anything you’d use turnips in
|Freezer Life||up to 6 months|
Frozen Vs Non-frozen
|Freezer Life||Fridge Life|
|up to 6 months||2 to 3 weeks|
You are going to need the following supplies:
Freezing turnips can be done in several different manners just like freezing pumpkin. Essentially, it will all come down to cooked/blanched, raw/unblanched, cut, or mashed.
Need to get all your food preserved easily? Check out the Ultimate Guide To Freezing Food so that you can fill your freezer without in minimal time.
However, as we have said many times before, blanching guarantees your food will stay fresh for the length of time it is frozen. Not blanching will always run the risk of continuing to age, despite being frozen, and will eventually rot.
We recommend that if you are going to skip blanching, make sure you are going to be using the turnips within a week or so. Also, if you cook them (roast, boil, mash, etc) before freezing, you do not need to blanch them as the initial heating that kills the aging enzyme has been done.
How to blanch
Blanching is how we ensure that our frozen food stays fresh and preserved and doesn’t spoil. Basically, exposing the turnips to boiling heat for a short period of time will start the cooking process long enough to destroy the aging enzyme. The ice bath right after stops the turnips from cooking much beyond the raw state.
ALl you need to do to blanch is:
- start a pot of water boiling
- put the turnips in a colander
- dunk your colander of turnips into the pot once you reach a rolling boil
- set a kitchen timer for the appropriate time
- for turnips we do 1 to 1 ½ minutes per pound (try to stick to 1 or 2 lbs at a time)
- add ice and water to a large mixing bowl
- put the turnips into the ice bath once the timer goes off and reset the timer for another minute to a minute and a half
- when that timer buzzes, pull the turnips from the ice bath
- let them air dry or you can pat the dry with paper towels
- Move to the next steps after they are dry
How to flash freeze
Flash freezing is sometimes done without blanching. We prefer to follow blanching with flash freezing for an extra bit of protection. Basically, flash freezing is a short term freeze (about 2-4 hours) where each individual piece of food is cooled to their freezing point.
This decreases the level of surface moisture on each piece of turnip and keeps them from sticking and freezing together in a large clump.
To flash freeze you just:
- wrap foil or parchment paper around a cookie chest or baking pan
- create a single layer of turnips on the sheep, being careful not to overlap
- stick the cookie sheet and turnips in the fridge for about 2 to 4 hours
- use this time to write the contents, freeze date, and best by date on your freezer bags or containers
- remove the turnips from the freezer when the 2 to 4 hours is up and move to the next step
How to freeze turnips
Freezing raw turnips
When we say raw turnips, we mean straight from the garden, fridge, or store without having been cooked or blanched.
- As always, wash your turnips and remove any excess dirt
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the turnip skin
- If you want to freeze them whole you can or use a sharp knife to cut them into slices or cubes
- Add the turnips into a labeled freezer bag and stick them into the freezer
Unblanched turnips are best within the first week but can keep for the same 2 to 3 weeks they would in the fridge.
Freezing cooked turnips
By cooked turnips we mean any version where the turnips have been exposed to heat long enough to destroy the aging enzyme.
- Wash your turnips, as you do
- peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler
- Decide how you want to prepare them (we will give you complete directions for blanching and tell you where to pick back up for roasted or mashed)
- Blanch following the instructions above
- After blanching, follow the instructions for flash freezing (restart roasted turnips here along with blanched)
- once flash freezing is finished, determine your portion sizes and start putting them into your labeled freezer bags (restart mashed turnips now)
- remember to squeeze as much air out of the bags as you can before sealing them
- put the bags back into the freezer in a place where they can remain undisturbed and at a constant temperature for 24 to 48 hours
If you need more help getting your foods frozen, check out the Ultimate Freezing Food Guide for a complete quick start reference so that you can have a well-stocked freezer.