Parsnips are lovely in soups, stews, and even roasts. But as with other root vegetables, the availability of the best of them can be seasonal and they can also begin to deteriorate when stored at unfavorable temperatures.
If you’re wondering how to get fresh parsnips all year round, then you may have considered the possibility of freezing them.
Can you freeze parsnips? Yes, you can freeze them. And it’s a great idea to freeze them too in order to preserve their taste, nutrition and flavor.
You can cut parsnips up in chunks and freeze them raw. Even delicious parsnip dishes can be frozen. There are ways to go about it to maximize their flavor. Read on to see how to freeze parsnips.
What Happens When You Freeze Parsnips?
Freezing blanched parsnips causes their texture to change slightly. The longer they are in the freezer, the greater will be the change in their taste and texture. So it is advised to eat frozen parsnip within the first six months of freezing.
However, if you have blanched and frozen them properly, you should be able to use them for up to nine months. They can go bad if stored beyond 9 months: their texture may turn rubbery.
If raw parsnip is stored without blanching, it can go bad fast. Its texture changes, and it goes mushy.
How To Freeze Parsnips
Parsnips are delicious veggies that go with most recipes. You can use them throughout the year by freezing them. Here is how to go about freezing them.
Step 1: Soak And Clean
After buying them from the store, submerge your parsnips in a bowl of cold water. Do this for an hour. After this, wash the parsnips thoroughly under water to remove any dirt.
Step 2: Peel
Peel larger parsnips using a peeler or sharp knife. Smaller, thinner parsnips need not be peeled.
Step 3: Chop or Dice
Now, chop or dice your parsnips into cubes sizes as you need.
Step 4: Blanch
Next, you need to blanch the parsnip cubes.
Boil some water in a pot. Drop the parsnips into the pot when it starts boiling.
After a minute, take the cubes out and immediately submerge them in ice water and take them out quickly.
Are you wondering if you can freeze raw Parsnips without blanching them?
Technically, you can freeze raw uncooked parsnips without blanching them first. However, parsnips contain enzymes that can cause them to become mushy or discolored if frozen without blanching. Blanching inactivates these enzymes and preserves the quality of your fresh parsnips.
So blanching is the better option.
Step 5: Drain and Dry
Let the parsnips drain and dry properly. Pat them using a towel to dry them quickly.
Step 6: Freeze
You can freeze these parsnip cubes in two ways. You can just put them straight into bags and then freeze them or you can tray-freeze them first. Tray freezing will prevent the cubes from sticking to each other while freezing.
How Do I Freeze Parsnips In Freezer-Ready Or Vacuum-Sealed Bags?
Simply place the cubes in the bags and seal them once filled. Place the bags in the freezer immediately.
How Do I Tray-Freeze Parsnips?
Place the cubes apart from each other on a flat tray or baking sheet, then freeze them for an hour or two before removing from the freezer. Then place the frozen cubes in freezer bags and pop them back in the freezer.
Whichever method you use, do date and label the bags before freezing.
Here you’ll find more general instructions on freezing vegetables.
How Long Can You Freeze Parsnips?
Parsnips that you blanch beforehand will last for about 9 months in the freezer. If packed in a vacuum-packed bag, however, they can last for up to 14 months.
How To Defrost Parsnips
Defrosting parsnips is easy if done right. There are three ways you can defrost them, depending on what you want to use them for.
1. Defrost At Room Temperature:
- Remove the bag of frozen parsnips from the freezer.
- Take out as many cubes as you need and place them on a plate on the kitchen counter. Let them sit out for half an hour or so.
- You can also place a paper plate under the parsnips to suck up the excess moisture post-thawing.
2. Defrost in the Fridge
- Place the frozen cubes in a bowl or plate.
- Now, keep the bowl/ plate in the fridge for a few hours till it thaws.
3. Straight Into the Pot For Slow-Cooked Foods
To use them in stews, soups, and other foods that are slow-cooked, simply throw them straight from frozen into the cooking pot. Let them cook with the rest of the dish.
Can You Refreeze Parsnips?
Yes, parsnips can be refrozen. Even though refreezing isn’t advised for most vegetables, parsnips are an exception. Frozen parsnips that were cooked can also be refrozen.
They stay pretty fresh even after being refrozen. Over time, the texture may change a bit. But not enough to affect the taste.
Freezing Different Types Or Variations Of Parsnips
Many dishes use parsnips in them. You can stew, roast, mash, or even use them in soups. But is it safe to freeze these different parsnip dishes? Yes, it is. Here are some of the different variations of parsnip you can freeze.
Can You Freeze Parsnip Soup?
Yes, you can freeze parsnip soup. Here is how you can do it:
- First, let your soup cool.
- Now, pour your soups into thick freezer bags.
- Store them in the freezer.
Next time you want to eat it, simply take it out of the fridge, thaw it at room temperature, and heat it.
Can You Freeze Parsnip Fritters?
- Yes. Freezing parsnip fritters is easy. Let your fritters cool down after frying.
- Now, place them into freezer bags and freeze them.
- When you want to eat them, simply pop the fritters in the oven.
Can You Freeze Parsnip Mash?
- Yes, you can freeze parsnip mash by portioning it out in bags and sealing them up.
- Place the airtight bags in the freezer, and you are good.
- Parsnip mash with cream, however, may taste grainy after a while. This happens when the fat splits from the liquid in the cream.
Can You Freeze Part-Roasted Parsnips?
- Yes, simply cool down the roasted parsnips.
- Bag them up in portions in freezer bags.
- Store them in the freezer for future use.
- Simply remove them and place them in a tray to oven heat them the next time.
Best Tips For Freezing Parsnips
Although freezing parsnips is a pretty simple process, there are a few tips that can help you make it easier.
- Prepare the parsnip well before blanching them. Clean, peel and chop them properly.
- Try and freeze bigger pieces of parsnip. Smaller chunks go bad faster and don’t freeze as well.
- Always try to blanch the parsnips before freezing them. The taste and texture remain intact even after freezing this way.
Parsnip Recipes Or Ideas
Chicken pot pie: Popping in a few parsnip chunks into your chicken pot pie filling makes for a yummier recipe. The texture enhances the filling even more.
Grandma’s Veggies: You can roast rutabaga (swede), parsnips, and turnips together to create a rustic recipe called Grandma’s Veggies.
Freezing parsnips is a great idea and it is easy too. You can even freeze dishes made of parsnips like soups, stews, or roasts. Simply pack them in portions into airtight bags and pop them in the freezer.
If you have any top tips or want to share your favorite parsnip recipes, please do so in the comments!