Freezing Turnips to Have and to Eat
To prepare your turnips for freezing, you can dice, mash, or roast them. Diced turnips are frozen just as you would freeze rutabagas and can be used in soups, stews, pot roast, and with corned beef. You can use your blender to puree turnips instead of mashing them. When you roast your turnips, you could add other seasonings to the salt and oil.
Blanching Diced Turnips
After you harvest your turnips, you can choose several different ways to preserve and store turnips – in the ground or in a root cellar, for example, but freezing them keeps them conveniently close at hand and ready for cooking. Blanching destroys enzymes and bacteria that would change the flavor, color, texture, and nutritional value of frozen turnips. To blanch the turnips, follow these steps:
- Fill a large pot with cold water, and bring the water to a boil on your stove.
- Select small to medium, firm turnips. Wash them, and trim off the tops and roots.
- Peel the turnips and dice them into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Put about a pound of the diced turnips in the boiling water. Let the water return to boiling.
- Blanche the diced turnips for 2 minutes. You can use the same water about five times adding hot tap water as needed to fill the pot.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the diced turnips from the pot and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool for 3 minutes.
- Spread the cubes on a rimmed cookie sheet and cover with freezer wrap.
- Place the cubes in the freezer for two hours. Then, pack them in freezer bags or containers within 1/2 inch from the top, removing as much air as possible.
- Add a label that includes the date.
You can seal freezer bags around a straw. Press out the air, pull out the straw, and finish sealing the bag. Diced turnips can be kept in a freezer compartment for nine months or a deep freezer for a year.
Freezing Mashed Turnips
For mashed turnips, prepare the turnips as you would for blanching. Add the turnips to a pot of boiling water and cover the pot. Cook the turnips for about 25 minutes until they are tender. Drain and mash the turnips or use a blender to puree them. Put the mashed turnips in freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch at the top.
Label the containers making sure you include the date. Mashed turnips can be kept for three months.
Freezing Roasted Turnips
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Wash and peel the turnips, and cut them into wedges or 1/2 inch cubes. Add salt and olive oil using 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil for each pound of turnips.
To create something new, try adding some of these seasonings to your roasted turnips or to your favorite turnip recipes.
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Parmesan or gruyere cheese
- Apples or apple cider
Spread the turnips on a cookie sheet or a sheet cake pan and bake about 30 minutes until tender.
Let the turnips cool before freezing them in freezer bags or containers. Label the containers making sure to include the date. Roasted turnips can be kept for three months.