Rutabaga is a cross root vegetable between turnips and cabbages. It has purple skins and is versatile in several recipes like fresh salads. It is especially used for roast and mash with milk and butter, similar to potatoes.
Though being rich in vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and especially has very low calories, this vegetable can easily rot and requires proper storage to maintain it for a long time. Freezing is a popular one amongst those storage methods. Yet, can you freeze rutabaga? This article will provide you the answer. Let’s scroll down!
Can You Freeze Rutabaga?
Can you freeze rutabaga? The good news is – yes, you can use a freezer to store rutabagas if you have them in large quantities.
As mentioned above, rutabaga is a root vegetable, which is more solid and larger than turnips and tastes sweeter. Its skin often comes with a wax layer so that it can keep moisture longer.
However, the layer of wax doesn’t stay long enough over time. That’s why it is better to find another way to store rutabaga – Storing them in the fridge.
Although storing rutabaga in a dry and cool place is the easiest way, it is quite unrealistic as we can not always provide the right temperature or enough room to store it for a long period. The freezer then becomes the best solution, as it helps frozen them for fresh in a longer period.
How To Freeze Rutabaga?
After harvesting rutabaga, you may need the help of a freezer to extend its shelf life. Below are common techniques to freeze rutabaga properly:
How To Peel And Cut A Rutabaga
Before freezing rutabaga, you should peel and cut them into smaller pieces. This task is not difficult but requires meticulousness. Here are some steps on how to peel a rutabaga:
Step 1: Wash the rutabaga skins to wipe out dust and dirt.
Step 2: Lay the rutabaga on a flat surface like a cutting board.
Step 3: How to cut rutabaga? Flip every half onto the flat front, then cut into semicircles about 1/2 inch edgewise.
Step 4: Remove all outer skins by using a paring knife.
Step 5: Cutting rutabaga into the size you need.
How To Freeze Chunks Of Rutabaga
How to freeze rutabaga? Here are step-by-step instructions to freeze rutabaga properly you can apply:
Step 1: Preparing rutabaga and a big bowl filled with ice and water.
Step 2: Pour water into a large pot or kettle and boil over high temperature.
Step 3: Put rutabaga in boiling water, about a pound at a time.
Step 4: Continue boiling over for around 2 minutes.
Step 5: After two minutes, take them out and immediately soak them in the prepared ice water bowl. Let them cool completely naturally.
Step 6: Continue doing the same for the rest of the rutabaga until all of them are soaked in ice water.
Step 7: Put all the rutabaga blocks in firm plastic storage containers or heavy-duty plastic ziplock freezer bags. You should leave space to 3 inches at the top of the freezer bags or 1/2 inch at the head of the containers.
Step 8: Cover the containers with a tight-fitting lid. If you use freezer bags, try to push the air out before fastening the zipper seals.
Step 9: Set the temperature to 0 degrees or below. Write the freeze date on the freezer tapes and stick them on the containers or bags. In this way, your frozen rutabaga can last about 12 or up to 18 months.
How To Freeze Pureed Rutabaga
What about pureed rutabaga? How to freeze them properly? Let’s apply the recommended method below!
Step 1: Peel the rutabaga, wash them, and cut them into big pieces.
Step 2: Place the rutabaga cubes in a large saucepan or pot, fill with water, and add more or less one teaspoon of salt. Boil over high temperature.
Step 3: Cover the saucepan or pot and boil at medium-low heat. Cook until flaccid (normally approximately 35 or 45 minutes).
Step 4: Remove the cooked rutabaga and place it back in the saucepan or pot. Boil at low heat and stir until the excess water content evaporates.
Step 5: Transfer the drained rutabaga to a food processor, then blend until it is smooth. If you want the mixture to be smoother and more aromatic, you can combine a few teaspoons of butter with each pound of pureed rutabaga and add flavoring.
Step 6: Pack pureed rutabaga into freezer bags or containers. Leave the space about 1/2-inch at the top of the containers. If possible, you should freeze them into flat packs to save space and speed up the defrosting process. In this way, pureed rutabaga can stay about 12 months.
How To Tell If A Rutabaga Is Bad?
If you don’t know how to store rutabaga properly, you can easily spoil it. In that case, how to tell if a rutabaga is bad? If you notice any signs below, you should discard rotten rutabaga instead of trying to consume it.
- Mold growth: when rutabaga breaks down, its outer skin begins to appear dark gray or gray spots. This is the root of mold.
- Soft texture: Over time, they easily lose moisture and wilt. For those that have only a few soft spots, you can cut them off and keep the fresh part to use. If the whole root is mushy, it’s better to throw them away.
- Offensive odor: Spoiled rutabaga will also give off an unpleasant smell when rotting like other root vegetables.
How To Store Rutabaga?
After harvesting, you should store raw rutabaga right away to keep them fresh and moist. Then, how to store rutabaga properly? Here are the three most common ways that experienced gardeners use to preserve this vegetable:
Keep It At Cool And Moist Place
Like other vegetables, rutabagas are easy to dry out if the storage environment is not humid enough. You should store them in a cool room and place a damp napkin or towel over them to optimize the humidity. This technique is ideal for people who try freezing rutabaga without blanching.
Storing Fresh Rutabaga
If you want to use rutabagas in the off-season, apply this preserving method! Don’t wash rutabagas before storing them, as water can lead to early spoilage. Instead, you should dip them in wax to avoid moisture loss.
Later on, place them in an environment with suitable conditions, including temperatures of 0 or 2⁰C and humidity at 90 or 95%. In this way, your vegetables can remain fresh within one or up to four months.
You can apply either of the two ways, including storing the rutabaga whole or in slices. If you preserve them as a whole, use a damp towel to wrap them and place them in the refrigerator.
If preserving rutabaga as slices, dice them into small pieces, put them into sealed containers with tight lids, and refrigerate them.
In A Nutshell
After reading this post, you must have found the answer to the question: Can you freeze rutabaga? Overall, you can freeze rutabagas in two methods: preserving them as a whole or slices and placing them in a suitable cool environment.
Otherwise, they are easily spoiled or rotten with signs such as mold on skins, soft texture, or unpleasant smell. If you detect one of these signs, it’s better to throw them away.