Turnips are low in calories and packed with vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, they are a great alternative to potatoes. They can often be used interchangeably with recipes that contain potatoes, especially if you are trying to reduce your calorific intake.
Turnips are in season throughout the year but tend to grow best in cooler weather between winter and spring. In order to enjoy their rich and hearty taste, turnips like most vegetables should be eaten as fresh as possible, and they may begin to rot when stored at unfavorable temperatures.
If you’re asking can you freeze turnips, yes, you absolutely can. To preserve the optimum taste and ensure that you can enjoy a batch of turnips at a later date, freezing them can be a great solution. However, it is vital that freezing is done in the proper manner to ensure that the nutrition, flavor and color remain preserved.
If the steps below are followed well, you will honestly find it difficult to tell the difference between turnips that have been frozen and turnips that are fresh!
Read on to learn more.
How to Freeze Turnips
The best guidance with turnips is to mainly select smaller to medium-sized varieties for freezing (around 2-3 inches in diameter) as they have a milder and sweeter flavor. An overgrown turnip tends to be sharper in taste with a distinctly woody texture.
We will now cover the steps needed to preserve both fresh and roasted turnips.
To Freeze Fresh Turnips
Step 1: Prepare and Peel The Turnips
If your produce is fresh from the ground, it will no doubt still have some earth or other substances that will need removing prior to cooking.
Give the turnips a thorough wash and make sure that at the same time you assess the sizes and firmness; removing any that feel too soft to the touch.
Then, begin to peel using either a vegetable peeler or a small kitchen knife, in the meantime start to boil the water ready for the next step.
Step 2: Blanch The Turnips
This is the key stage to ensuring that the frozen vegetables retain their freshness.
Cut the turnips into cubes or small pieces and place them into boiling water to be boiled for approximately 90 seconds.
Then, quickly turn off the heat and transfer the pieces into ice-cold water, which quickly stops the turnips from cooking for any longer. This stops the vegetables from continuing to ripen and slows down the enzymes within the turnips from degrading the quality of the taste.
Drying the turnips after removing them from the water helps to reduce the moisture and improves the final taste. It also helps to avoid the turnips sticking together when frozen.
Step 4. First Freeze
Line a baking tray with vegetable parchment and place the turnips onto it, making sure that they are spaced adequately.
Put the tray into the freezer for just a few hours before removing it for the next step.
Step 5: Bag Up, Date and Label
After removing the tray from the freezer, divide the turnips into freezer bags according to required portion sizes and be sure to squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible prior to sealing them.
Date and label your bags.
Step 6. Freeze your bags
Freeze and consume within 6 months.
To Freeze Roast Turnips
Step 1: Cook the Turnips
Peel and cube your turnips. To roast them, apply a generous amount of olive oil and desired seasoning before leaving to cook for around 30 minutes.
Step 2: First Freeze
Ensure that the turnips have cooled from the oven prior to ‘flash freezing’.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the turnip cubes or pieces out equally so as not to be in contact with each other, then place in the freezer for a few hours prior to removing.
Step 3: Bag up your turnip pieces
Remove the pieces of turnip from the vegetable parchment and place them into portion-sized freezer bags. Ensure that you squeeze as much air as possible from the freezer bag prior to sealing them.
Date and label them.
Step 4. Freeze your bags
Freeze and consume within 6 months.
This might be also interesting: Freezing roasted vegetables.
How Long Do Frozen Turnips Last?
If turnips are frozen using the method that has been described, then they will generally last for around 6 months within the freezer prior to degrading.
They should still remain edible and safe to eat beyond this period, but the texture and flavor will not be as pleasant and flavorful.
To avoid eating produce of a lower quality, it is always advised to label your freezer bags with ‘eat-by dates’.
Can You Refreeze Turnips?
It is not recommended to refreeze turnips as their taste and overall quality will decrease. There will be a significant degradation in the overall crunch and texture which is vital to any wholesome root vegetable.
In light of this advice, it is wise to adequately portion food appropriately when initially freezing to ensure that great turnips do not go to waste after being needlessly defrosted.
How To Defrost Turnips
Fortunately, there is no requirement to defrost the turnips prior to incorporating them into a recipe. If they are roasted, just throw them into your cooking as desired to reheat!
If the fresh turnips have been blanched, they can be boiled in water until they are tender or for around 30 minutes as a guideline for a delicious result.
My Favorite Recipe with Turnips
Make a Turnip and Walnut Gratin
After your turnips are boiled (if frozen as fresh) simply prepare a mix of creme fraîche, mustard and rosemary in a bowl. Apply this to the turnips in an ovenproof dish and add a layer of grated cheese on top. Grill for around 10 minutes before adding a layer of walnuts and grilling for a further 2-3 minutes. Prior to eating, ensure you season generously!
Top Tip… Swap the creme fraîche for double cream if you are feeling indulgent!
Other Interesting Questions
What Is The Best Way To Preserve Turnips?
The best way to preserve turnips is in a cool, dark and dry place such as a pantry. Turnips do not like humidity so should ideally not be kept in the fridge.
How Long Do Raw Turnips Last In The Fridge?
The ideal way to store turnips is not in the fridge. However, if you do not have a cool, dark and dry pantry to place them in, then store them in a plastic bag in the bottom drawer and raw turnips will then usually last around 2-3 weeks in the fridge if stored properly.
Do You Have To Peel Turnips?
Whether or not you peel turnips is entirely a matter of personal preference. Some people find that larger turnips taste a little bitter if cooked unpeeled.
Should You Refrigerate Turnips?
Ideally, you should not refrigerate turnips as it is too humid an environment for them. A pantry is a much better place for them and they can last a long time there. If you do decide to put them in the fridge, put them in the bottom drawer.
In summary, if you are fortunate enough to have a large amount of raw or cooked turnips in your pantry or cupboard (turnips do not like the humidity of a fridge) then it is absolutely possible to freeze them to enjoy their rich nutritional content and distinctive crunchy texture at a later date. This is certainly better than leaving them to lose their freshness!
However, this must be done properly, blanching the turnips and following the steps I outlined above to help you enjoy them at their best.
Turnips are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol so there are no reasons not to experiment with them in various new and exciting recipes!
Have you frozen turnips before? Maybe you have a success story to share? If you have any top tips or want to share any beloved family turnip recipes please do so in the comments! Bon Appétit!