Parsnips are a versatile vegetable and can be used in all sorts of ways. They are delicious roasted as an accompaniment to a Sunday roast dinner or for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
However, you can also mash them, either on their own or with other vegetables such as carrots or swedes. You can even boil or fry them. In addition, you can turn them into a dish such as parsnip soup or make them into gnocchi. However, what do you do if you have too many parsnips?
Perhaps they are on sale or you grow them, and they all grow at once. The answer is simple. Freeze them. Parsnips freeze extremely well, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze parsnips and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Uncooked Parsnips
These are the simple steps to freeze uncooked parsnips:
1. Clean and peel the parsnips
It is important to first clean the parsnips as you don’t want to freeze them with any dirt or debris. Put them in a bowl of cold water for one hour and then wash them. Peel off the outer layer which is tough and not edible. Then chop the parsnips into any shape you want. For example, you can have chunks, wedges, cubes, or rounds, but it is best not to cut them too small as they can then break apart when defrosted and become mushy.
2. Blanch the parsnips
The next step is to blanch the parsnips. To do this, boil a pot of water. When it has reached boiling point, put in the chopped parsnips and immerse for a minute. Then, immediately put them into ice water for a few seconds and then take them out.
3. Dry the parsnips
Drain the parsnips and dry them thoroughly. If there is still water on the parsnips, crystals can form on them when they are frozen and when defrosted, they can end up mushy.
4. Put the parsnips in a freezer bag
The next step is to put the parsnips in a freezer bag. Make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. The parsnips won’t be unsafe to eat but they will lose taste and texture. You can also put the parsnips in an airtight container. Always label the bag or freezer so that you know when you put it in the freezer as you don’t want to keep it in the freezer for years.
The only problem with freezing parsnips in this way is that they might stick together, and you will end up defrosting more parsnips than you need. To solve this problem, you can freeze them in meal-size freezer bags, or alternatively, you can flash freeze them. Put the chopped parsnips on a baking sheet, making sure that you don’t let any of them touch each other. Put the tray into the freezer until the parsnips have frozen solid. Then put them in a freezer bag or airtight container. They shouldn’t stick to each other so you will be able to take out just as many as you need.
Can You Freeze Parsnips Without Blanching?
We don’t recommend freezing parsnips without blanching. If you do, the parsnips may lose nutrients and flavor. They may also lose texture and become mushy.
How To Freeze Roast Parsnips
One of the most popular ways to enjoy parsnips is when you have roasted them. Perhaps you will roast them with thyme (see also Freezing Thyme) and garlic. Rosemary is also a good choice, as is honey. So what do you do if you have roasted too many? Can you freeze them? The simple answer is yes. You can freeze them and enjoy them at a later date. These are our steps for freezing roasted parsnips.
1. Cool down the roasted parsnips
Make sure that you have cooled down the parsnips before you freeze them. If you don’t, they could bring up the temperature in the freezer. This could lead to other items of food defrosting and spoiling. Don’t leave the parsnips at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise, bacteria may develop, and you could get food poisoning.
2. Put the roast potatoes in freezer bags
Ensure that you have squeezed out as much air as possible from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag so that you know when you put it in the freezer.
How To Freeze Parsnip Mash
It is possible to freeze parsnip mash, but if you have added milk or cream to it while cooking, there is a chance that the texture may change, and you will end up with grainy mash. It is better to freeze uncooked parsnips and then make the mash.
However, if you haven’t added any dairy products to the mash, you can freeze them with good results. Divide them into meal-size portions and put them into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. You can add the milk, cream, or butter when you come to reheat it.
How To Freeze Parsnip Soup
Parsnip soup is delicious. It has a delicate sweet flavor and can be enjoyed with a slice of sourdough bread. You can also add other vegetables such as carrots, turnips, or swede. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could make a big batch of it and enjoy it later on? Well, the good news is that you can freeze it and it isn’t difficult to do.
First, transfer the leftover soup into a cold bowl so that it cools down quickly. You don’t want to leave it at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria may have a chance to develop. When it has cooled down, transfer the soup into freezer bags or an airtight container.
If you are using freezer bags, make sure that they are thick and strong as you don’t want any leakages. Then put them in the freezer. Remember to put a label on the container or bag so that you know when you put it in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Parsnips
- Make sure that you clean and peel the parsnips before freezing. It will save you a lot of time down the road. It also probably won’t be as easy to peel the parsnips after they have been frozen.
- Blanch the parsnips before freezing. This will ensure that the parsnips retain their nutritional value, texture, and flavor.
- Make sure that you label the container or freezer bag with the date frozen.
- Cut the parsnips into large chunks. They freeze better and last for longer in the freezer. Smaller chunks may also fall apart when they are defrosted.
For How Long Can You Freeze Parsnips?
You will be pleased to know that parsnips last for ages in the freezer. In fact, as long as you have prepared them properly, they can stay in the freezer for up to nine months. Parsnip mash and parsnip soup can be kept in the freezer for up to six months.
How Do You Defrost Parsnips?
The best way to defrost raw parsnips, roast parsnips, mashed parsnips, and parsnip soup is to put them in the fridge and allow them to defrost overnight. However, if you are going to use them in a stew that you are preparing from fresh, you can just put them in the pot while they are still frozen. This works particularly well if you are using a slow cooker.
Can You Refreeze Parsnips?
Most foods don’t refreeze that well, but surprisingly parsnips do as long as you have frozen them raw the first time. You won’t notice much difference in taste and texture when you come to defrost and cook them.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Parsnips?
The simple answer to this is yes as long as you blanch them first. If you don’t blanch them, they will become soft and mushy when defrosted and you won’t get that delicious crispy texture. If you do blanch them, they will retain texture and flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all that there is to know about freezing parsnips, but in case you want to know more, we have answered a couple of questions here.
Can you freeze parsnips with other vegetables?
Yes, you can, but it is best to freeze them with vegetables of a similar texture such as carrots, swede, and turnips (see also Will Kohlrabi Freeze Well?).
Can you freeze leftover parsnip hash browns?
Yes, you can, but they will probably only last for a month in the freezer.