Turnips are one of my favorite things to grow in the garden. They grow so quickly, look beautiful, and taste delicious. For the best flavor, you have to pick them when they are young and tender. Since we can't eat them all ourselves when it's time to harvest them, we freeze them for later. They still taste delicious. I like to put them in pasties, stews, roasted vegetable dishes or soups. They are wonderful.
The turnip greens are delicious too. I don't personally like them plain, but I love to blend them up into green smoothies. So healthy and yummy.
Today for frugal Friday, I'll show you how to freeze turnips. It's easy and frugal. These turnips grew almost for free. Where we live we can plant them in early March and they get plenty of water just through the rainfall. I water them a little when it starts getting hot, but most of the growing was done without me having to worry about watering at all. A spring garden is a wonderful frugal thing. I will plant another crop for the late fall because turnips prefer the cooler weather. Where we live the hot summers are too much for them. That being said, I have to tell you that yesterday I planted an experimental plot of turnips, lettuce and a few other of the cooler loving crops in the shade. We'll see how they do...
And now back to the tutorial...
How to Freeze Turnips
Step 1: Select young and tender turnips and wash with water. If they are too tough now, freezing them will only worsen their flavor.
Step 2: Cut off greens (and wrap in plastic and save in the refrigerator for smoothies later). Then peel off the skins. Chop peeled turnips into 1/2" thick pieces.
I cheated and used this Vidalia Chop Wizard. It's one of my favorite kitchen gadgets...saves me so much time chopping.
Step 3: Fill a steamer with water and heat to boiling. When water is boiling, place chopped turnips in the water for 2 minutes. Turnips should be submerged under water. Start the timer immediately after placing the turnips in the boiling water. This is called blanching. Blanching is important in freezing most vegetables because it's stops the enzyme action, which can cause a loss of flavor, color, and texture.
Step 4: When 2 minutes is up, immediate remove the steamer basket from the heat and cool turnips with water to stop them from cooking any more. You can also pour them into a sink or bowl full of cold water to stop the cooking even faster.
Step 5: When turnips are cooled completely, drain and pack them in freezer bags, label and immediately freeze. Frozen turnips should last at least a year in the freezer.
One of my favorite recipes to use turnips in is this roasted veggies dish...yum!
Growing your own food and then preserving it such a satisfying and frugal thing to do. It also helps you eat healthier because healthy food is available and convenient. Happy Frugal Friday! Have a great weekend.