Radishes have been a staple in our diets well before the 3rd Century B.C., and though we’ve managed to produce different varieties, it can be unpredictable exactly how much radish we get in a season.
If you grow your own radishes, you’ll know that how much you get from each crop can wildly depend on the weather you get during the growing season.
While you can try and estimate it from last year’s crop, this isn’t an exact science, and it can leave you with a lot more radish than you know what to do with.
Yes, you can freeze radishes. But it only makes sense to do so if you really need to, as they are much better when eaten fresh.
Kept fresh, they retain high levels of folic acid, calcium, potassium, not to mention a lot of vitamins, and they can lose some of their goodness and texture when you freeze them.
That said, how do you go about freezing them?
How Do You Freeze Radishes?
Radishes usually mature within three weeks of planting them, and depending on the weather, this can mean you’ll have many more radishes than you bargained for.
The good news is that there’s more than one way to store them. You can keep them dry, put them in the fridge for a few weeks, or freeze them.
When it comes to freezing them, there is a risk of doing it incorrectly, and it will result in a ruined texture or loss of flavor.
How to Prepare Radishes for Freezing
You might be tempted to freeze the radishes whole. Unfortunately, freezing them whole would make the skin split, as radishes have a lot of water content, making them trickier to freeze. The best way to stop this from happening is to blanch them.
With some foods, blanching them stops them from cooking any further. When it comes to radishes, blanching also stops the ripening process, and saves the color and texture the radish currently has while it is fresh.
How to Blanch Radishes
You’ll want to cut them into smaller pieces, and boil them for 3 minutes, tops. Immediately plunge them into ice-cold water to cool them.
Dry them off, and pop them into a resealable freezer bag, making sure to get rid of any air in the bag. Write the date and put them into the freezer.
It’s worth keeping in mind that radishes that have been frozen don’t taste the same as they would fresh.
The texture will also be a little different, so it’s worth holding off using them in raw dishes, as you’d be better using fresh radish for this purpose.
These radishes will be perfect for cooked dishes, however, so it is still worth freezing them if you have a glut of them, and you’re not sure what to do.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Radishes?
The good thing about frozen radishes is that they are extremely easy to thaw. It doesn’t even require any pre-planning of taking them out earlier.
Just take them out of the freezer, remove them from the container, and put them under running cold water.
It won’t take very long for them to defrost, and once the ice crystals are gone, and the texture has gotten softer, they are ready to be added to cooking dishes.
While freezing radishes is a perfectly good option for storing them over a long period of time, they will lose some quality and texture as a trade-off.
This is only a problem if you only use radish in raw dishes, such as salads (see also Can You Freeze Green Onions). If you’re planning on using them as a cooked ingredient, you’ll still be able to recognize the flavor, though it won’t be as potent.
While fresh is always better when it comes to radishes, freezing radishes is much better than wasting them.
It also helps preserve some of their goodness, as they contain antioxidants, which help stop free radicals from ravaging your health.
Now you know that freezing is an option, you can prepare them ahead of time whenever you need to, also helping your wallet (no matter if you grew them or if you bought them) and helping to reduce waste.