How to freeze turnips and parsnips from your garden or the shop (directions, recipe, and free)

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How to Freeze Turnips and Parsnips

If you grow or pick turnips or parsnips in the summer, you know how much better they taste that the ones from the grocery stores in the winter - they've been stored too long.  Just imagine how good the turnips or parsnips would taste if you had picked a bag yourself and then quickly froze it at home!  It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a vegetable for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The turnips and parsnips will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store.

Directions for Freezing Turnips and/or Parsnips

Ingredients

  • fresh turnips or parsnips - any quantity.  I figure one handful per serving.

Equipment

  • 1 Large pot of boiling water
  • 2 large bowls, one filled with cold water and ice.
  • 1 sharp knife
  • Vacuum food sealer or "ziploc" type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn.

Directions for Freezing Turnips and Parsnips

Step 1 - Select your turnips or parsnips

Choose small to medium, firm turnips or parsnips that are tender and have a mild flavor.

Step 2 - Wash, Peel and Cut

Wash, peel and cut into the turnips or parsnips into 1/2-inch cubes. this is a good time to get a large pot of water boiling (the larger the better).

Step 3 - Blanch

Put the turnips or parsnips in the boiling water for 2 minutes to blanch them.

All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. Turnips and parsnips requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. 2 minutes is the duration that should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria in turnips and parsnips.

Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the turnips or parsnips in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature for the required length of time. You may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.

Step 4 - Cool

As soon as the 2 minutes are up, remove the turnips or parsnips with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a large bowl of ice water. let them cool for 2 or 3 minutes then drain the water off them.

Step 5- Bag the turnips or parsnips

I love the FoodSavers (see this page for more information) with their vacuum sealing!  I am not paid by them, but these things really work.  If you don't have one, Ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the bags.  remove the air to prevent drying and freezer burn. One person wrote to tell me that she uses a straw and seals the Ziploc around the straw to suck the air out of the bag, then pinches the straw and quickly removes it while pressing the seal.  It works fairly well, but I'll stick to the Foodsaver, since the bags are microwaveable and much thicker than a Ziploc bag (even the Ziploc "freezer bags")

Step 8 - Done!

Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one!


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I've frozen turnips but they seem so rubbery after being cooked. Any idea why?

    Generally, that means the turnips or parsnips were either old to being with, or they were overcooked.  It only takes 2 minutes to blanch turnips or parsnips, then plunge them immediately into ice water.

  2. How long can they be frozen?

    It depends upon how cold is your freezer and how you packed them.  Colder (deep freezes) are better than frost free compartments, which actually cycle above freezing (that's how they melt the ice).  Vacuum packing results in longer storage capability, too.  Thicker bags also help prevent freezer burn.

    In general, up to 9 months in a ziploc bag in an ordinary freezer, and 14 months in a deep freeze in a vacuum packed bag.  After that, the trunips or parsnips won't make you sick; they just won't taste as good.
     
  3. Can turnips or parsnips be canned at home?

    I'm sure you could make pickled turnips, just substitute them in the recipe for pickled beets (see this page http://www.pickyourown.org/pickledbeets.htm) Or if you have a pressure canner, you could make canned turnips, using the beets directions on this page: http://www.pickyourown.org/beets_canning.htm

    But I've never tried it and it hasn't been tested by the USDA, FDA or a university, to my knowledge, so obviously there's some risk in it. I just freeze them or store them in the basement, raw.

 

Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I've frozen turnips but they seem so rubbery after being cooked. Any idea why?

    Generally, that means the turnips were either old to being with, or they were overcooked.  It only takes 3 minutes to blanch the turnips, then plunge them immediately into ice water.
  2. How long can they be frozen?

    It depends upon how cold is your freezer and how you packed them.  Colder (deep freezes) are better than frost free compartments, which actually cycle above freezing (that's how they melt the ice).  Vacuum packing results in longer storage capability, too.  Thicker bags also help prevent freezer burn.

    In general, up to 9 months in a ziploc bag in an ordinary freezer, and 14 months in a deep freeze in a vacuum packed bag.  After that, they turnips won't make you sick; they just won't taste a s good.

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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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