Turnips can be frozen diced and blanched (cooked just enough to destroy enzymes that could affect the flavor and color of the vegetables) or thoroughly cooked and mashed or roasted. Whether you have a few turnips or dozens, the freezer is an excellent way to preserve them.
How to Freeze Fresh (Blanched) Turnips
- Choose small to medium turnips to freeze.
- Scrub the turnips and peel them. Cut into small cubes, about 1/2-inch in size.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Bring a large stockpot of water to a rapid boil over high heat.
- Add about 1 pound of the turnips to the boiling water. Time them for 2 minutes from when you the water comes back to a boil.
- Drain and immediately transfer the turnips to the ice water to stop the cooking.
- Use the same water for subsequent batches.
- Drain the turnips and spread out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze them for about 2 hours. Pack them into freezer storage bags or freezer containers. Remove as much air from the bag as possible, label the bags, and freeze them for up to 12 months.
- Add blanched frozen turnips to soups, stews, pot roast, or corned beef, or boil them until tender and then mash or puree.
Have all equipment and vegetables ready before you start the blanching process.
A large wire steaming basket is an excellent container for immersing the vegetables in the boiling water, then in the ice water.
A vacuum sealing system makes sense if you do a lot of freezing. If you don't have one, and you are using freezer bags, try the straw method (for blanched turnips). Put the diced frozen turnips in the bags and close the bag, leaving just enough room for a straw. Suck out the air and quickly complete the seal.
Another way to remove the air from the bags is the water displacement method. Fill the sink or a large bowl or pot with water. Partially seal the bag, leaving a small portion unsealed so the air can escape. Carefully submerge the bag into the water almost to the top. The water pressure forces the air from the bag. Once the air is out of the bag, seal it and remove the bag from the water.
How to Freeze Mashed Turnips
- Wash, trim, and peel the turnips, and then cut them into chunks.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the turnips to the boiling water. Cover the pan and cook for about 25 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Drain the turnips well and mash or puree them in a blender.
- Pack them into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace, or seal them in freezer bags.
- Label the containers with the name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Freeze Roasted Turnips
- Heat the oven to 425 F.
- Wash the turnips; peel them and then cut them into 1/2-inch cubes or wedges.
- Toss with some olive oil and salt (about 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound).
- Spread the turnips out on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Remove the turnips from the oven and let them cool in the pan. Put the pan in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the turnips are frozen.
- Transfer the frozen roasted turnips to freezer bags. Label the bags with the name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Add the frozen roasted turnips to soups and stews or reheat them in a 350 F oven until hot and serve them along with a corned beef dinner. Season them lightly with complementary herbs and spices, if desired.
Complementary Flavors for Turnip Dishes
Serve the cooked turnips with butter and seasonings. Try them with some of the herbs, seasonings, and additional ingredients listed below.