This easy step by step guide with pictures shows how to freeze turnips and swedes (rutabaga) to preserve this root vegetable for the months to come.
Turnips and swedes do store well when placed in a single layer in a cool, dry place such as a root cellar however not everyone has enough room or the right temperature to store root vegetables long term.
This is when freezing becomes a handy tool to preserve vegetables when they are in season or when you have a glut from the garden.
Turnips and swedes both germinate easily from seed in their final position and mature quickly making them a valuable food crop to grow during the cooler months of the year. For more growing information see these guides to growing Turnips or Swedes (Rutabaga).
Cooking Frozen Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga)
Soups and Stews
Add the frozen cubes direct to your favorite soups and stews. There is no need to thaw them out. Turnips and swedes have a mild flavor which won’t overpower the other flavors in the recipe.
Place the frozen cubes on a lined or non-stick baking tray then either drizzle or spray with olive oil. Bake in a moderate oven for 5 minutes longer than the recommended time. See this recipe for Honey and Thyme Roasted Turnips.
Freezing Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga)
It is best to blanch cubed turnips and swedes as it will prevent freezer burn and extend the amount of time they can be frozen. If you do decide to freeze without blanching it is best to use within the next 3 months.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Sharp Knife – This quality 9 inch Chef’s Knife is made from quality Japanese steel and is great value on Amazon. (Paid link)
- Slotted Spoon – This stainless steel Spider Strainer is perfect for blanching vegetables. (Paid link)
- Bowl of Ice Water
- Airtight Freezer Container or Freezer Bag
- Label – Dissolvable Food Labels are great for using on reusable freezer containers. (Paid link)
How to freeze turnips and swedes (rutabaga) at home.
- Wash and Peel the Vegetables
First wash the outside of the turnips and swedes then cut off the top and root. Peel the skin as it can be tough then dice into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
- Prepare for Blanching
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and place a few cubes of ice in a bowl. Fill the bowl 3/4 full of cold water then set aside.
- Blanch the Turnips and Swedes
Place the diced turnips and swedes in the boiling water for 2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon.
- Stop the Cooking Process
Place directly in the ice water. Leave for a minute for the vegetables to cool.
- Store and Label
Drain the water then place the turnips and swedes in an airtight container or freezer bag. Secure, pushing any air out of the freezer bag then label with the date and the contents.
Freeze for 6 to 12 months.
If you are using a freezer bag it is easier to freeze the cubes in a flat layer as they will break apart easier. This isn’t necessary when freezing in serving portions for your recipe.
Reusable freezer containers are a great way to reduce plastic waste and save money in the long run. This value pack of 50 Freezer Containers are microwave safe and stain resistant. Their rectangular shape will stack easily in the freezer saving on space. (Paid link)
For more information on freezing, drying and canning food, see this Food Preservation guide.
Do you love your home? Get more out of your home and garden with this Homesteading guide.
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