Monday, August 3, 2015

Freezing Turnips

Winter in Wisconsin seems to last a long time.  That is why everyone gets excited about planting flowers and gardens as soon as the last frost happens.  It is usually around May 1.  My daughter and her husband were no exception.  They planted a gigantic garden.  I don't plant a vegetable garden because I get more than enough fresh produce given to me.  I reap all of the benefits without doing any work.  I love it when the harvest starts.  The only trouble is that most things are ready to pick at the same time and need to be dealt with while they are fresh. They planted a 25 foot row of turnips.  I noticed that some of them were getting quite large and there were enough turnips to feed an army.  I decided to pull a few.  Some had gotten too big already, but there are plenty of perfect sized turnips.  I like to eat them raw, but there are way too many to do that.  We decided to try to freeze some to use in soups and stews this winter.

Medium to small turnips are the best.

I took the tops and root off and then peeled them.  They peel quite easy, just like a potato.  In fact, they look like a potato but have a mild flavor much like a kolrabi.  After peeling, I sliced them in one half inch slices, and my husband cubed them.  He didn't cube them by hand, but with a fancy non-electric gadget.  I have written about one of my favorite gadgets called the Vidalia Chop Wizard.  I like this one too.  It is very similar to the chop wizard, but it's for bigger projects and has a capability for making one inch cubes.  It is called the Genius food chopper.  I got it at a thrift store, so I don't know much about it except I love it.  You can chop a whole salad in the bowl, put the cover on and keep it stored in the same container.

We used the smaller 1/2 inch attachment for these.

After the turnips were cut into cubes, I had to blanch them before they could be frozen.  To blanch a vegetable, you just drop it in boiling water for a short time to stop the enzyme action of ripening and to kill bacteria.  It preserves the quality of the vegetable or fruit for better color or flavor.  Then after a couple minutes in boiling water, take it out and put in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Blanched vegetable and the Foodsaver vacuum sealer.

The only thing left to do at this point is to put them in a container or freezer bag.  Then label and freeze.  I have had a Foodsaver vacuum sealer for twenty years, so that is what I used.  I hope we enjoy having these frozen turnip cubes to use in recipes.  I have never frozen them before.  I read they can be rubbery but that is usually because the turnips are not fresh, they are blanched too long or they are too large.  I think we will love them.  We have frozen green beans, corn and a variety of fruit this way, so I am confident turnips will be good too.

Eight bags ready for the freezer.