Rutabaga, known as swede in the U.K., is a root vegetable and tastes a bit like potato, except that it has a more peppery taste. It can be roasted, mashed, boiled, fried, steamed, and even shredded to make hash browns.
Rutabaga is quite big, however, so what can you do with the leftovers? The answer is simple. You can freeze rutabaga and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze and defrost it.
How To Freeze Rutabaga
You can freeze rutabaga either cooked or uncooked. However, don’t freeze it raw. If you want to freeze it uncooked, blanch it first. If you freeze it raw, the taste and texture of the rutabaga will change, and it will probably end up mushy when cooked.
How To Freeze Cooked Rutabaga
1. Cook the rutabaga.
You can cut your rutabaga any way you want. You can choose to have small cubes or bigger wedges, depending on what you plan to do with it. To cook it, you can boil it, steam it, roast it, or fry it.
2. Cool down the rutabaga.
Transfer the cooked rutabaga from the hot pan to a cold bowl and put it on your countertop. You mustn’t leave it out for longer than two hours as after this time bacteria can start to develop. To speed up the cooling process, put the bowl in the sink filled with room temperature water. You don’t want to put the rutabaga in the freezer while it is still warm as it will bring up the temperature and other food may start to defrost. When the food refreezes, it may spoil.
3. Put the rutabaga in freezer bags.
Divide the rutabaga into meal-size portions and put them into freezer bags. This means that you will only defrost what you need for a meal and there won’t be any wastage. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of food. Put a label on the bags with the contents and the date frozen.
How To Freeze Uncooked Rutabaga
1. Cut the rutabaga into cubes, slices, or wedges.
2. Blanch the rutabaga.
Put a pan of water on to boil. When it starts to boil, put in the rutabaga and boil for two minutes. Take the rutabaga out, drain, and put it in a bowl of ice-cold water. This stops the cooking process.
3. Put the rutabaga into freezer bags.
Divide the rutabaga into meal-size portions and put into freezer bags. Squeeze the air out of the bags to prevent freezer burn and label each bag with the contents and the date frozen.
How To Freeze Rutabaga Mash
1. Make the mash.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to just rutabaga. You could make a carrot and rutabaga mash or add potatoes, parsnips, turnips, or beetroot.
2. Cool down the mash on your countertop.
3. Put the mash in freezer bags.
Divide the mash into meal-size portions and put into freezer bags. Squeeze out all the air so that freezer burn doesn’t occur and label the bags.
You can, alternatively, flash freeze the mash. Put portions of mash onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Make sure that the dollops aren’t touching each other. This will mean that they won’t stick to each other when you put them in freezer bags. Put the baking tray in the freezer for two hours until the mash is solid. Put the mash in freezer bags and put them back in the freezer.
How To Freeze Roasted Rutabaga
1. Slice and roast the rutabaga in olive oil.
2. Cool down the roasted rutabaga.
Transfer the rutabaga to a cold tray to speed up the cooling process.
3. Put the roasted rutabaga in freezer bags.
Divide the rutabaga into meal-size portions and put them in freezer bags. Squeeze out the air from the bags to prevent freezer burn and label the bags.
You can freeze roasted rutabaga with other roasted vegetables but check how long the other vegetables can be frozen for.
How To Freeze Grated Rutabaga
You may want to grate your rutabaga to bulk up stews and casseroles or to make hash browns. This is the way to freeze it:
1. Grate the rutabaga.
2. Put the grated rutabaga into freezer bags.
Divide the grated rutabaga into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need. Put into freezer bags and squeeze out the air to prevent freezer burn. Put a label on the bags with the contents and the date frozen.
After half an hour shake the bags so that the grated rutabaga doesn’t clump together too much and then return to the freezer.
For How Long Can You Freeze Rutabaga For?
You can keep rutabaga in the freezer for up to a year although it tastes better the sooner you eat it. We recommend that you use it up within nine months for the best taste and texture. However, if you can’t use it all up by then, don’t worry. It will still be tasty.
If you have frozen rutabaga in a dish, however, you will have to check how long the other ingredients will last in the freezer. For example, if you freeze a pie with rutabaga in it, you can only keep it in the freezer for three months, as that’s as long as you can keep pastry in the freezer for.
How Long Will Rutabaga Last in the Fridge?
It lasts for three to four days so if you don’t think you will use it within this time frame, freeze it, otherwise it will have to be thrown away.
How To Defrost Rutabaga
You can defrost rutabaga in the fridge overnight. This is probably the best method as it doesn’t spoil. We don’t advise defrosting on your countertop as if it takes longer than two hours to defrost, bacteria can start to form. You can defrost the rutabaga in the microwave but it can go a bit mushy. If you have frozen a bag of roasted rutabaga, you can cook it from frozen.
Can You Refreeze Rutabaga?
We don’t recommend refreezing rutabaga as the texture of the rutabaga will change. You will probably end up with a soggy and bland mess. The only exception to this rule is if you have frozen blanched rutabaga and then used it in a dish. You can freeze the dish safely and the rutabaga will still taste good.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Rutabaga?
As long as you don’t freeze raw rutabaga, it does freeze well. Either freeze blanched rutabaga or cooked, and you will have a good result. An advantage is that it lasts for up to a year in the freezer so you can have a constant supply throughout the year.