HOW TO FREEZE TURNIPS AND PARSNIPS
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 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 6 – Done!
Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.