Can You Freeze Radishes?
If you have ever thought about freezing radishes and are eager to learn about the process and when it makes sense to freeze radishes, read on!
Ah…the indelible radish! Raphanus sativas, the common red radish, has a bright future. A known food staple since before the 3rd Century B.C., it was probably first domesticated in China or India, though recorded European history traces it back to the Romans. Today the radish enjoys world-wide popularity, and has found its way into myriad dishes and recipes. So, can you freeze radishes?
Yes, of course you can. But, would you want to? High in folic acid (folates), calcium, potassium, rich with vitamins–especially vitamin C–and high in fiber, radishes are best when eaten fresh. But you can store them in several ways, including freezing. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze radishes:
Because radishes can be planted in the Fall, or up to four weeks before the last frost in the Spring, and the fact that they mature within three weeks, you could end up with more radishes than you can use.
Radishes can be kept in dry storage, refrigerated for a couple weeks, or frozen. But freezing them, especially when done carelessly, can ruin taste and texture. They should be blanched first. Blanching preserves color and freshness by slowing the ripening process.
Preparing the Radishes
Cleaning should be easy if the radishes are store-bought. Always choose firm, well-formed radishes–these will be crisp. But if they’re fresh out of the garden, a little more preparation is prudent.
Under cold, running water, remove dirt and the greens (save these, as radish greens are yummy when cooked), and trim the ends. Do not peel! The skin helps protect the white flesh and texture.
Blanching the Radishes
Cut radishes into smaller pieces. They are water-lovers and retain high amounts of moisture. If they are frozen whole, the skin will split, causing loss of texture quality. Boiling the cut pieces for two to three minutes helps to lesson this effect, as it slows down enzymatic reactions.
After boiling, immerse in icy cold water. Drain thoroughly. Use a quality freezer bag for storage – avoid excess moisture and air.
It should be noted that radishes will lose their original taste and texture once they’ve been frozen, and won’t be quite the same as fresh. But they are just fine for dishes that involve cooking them. Blanching will help preserve their flavor much better than if you just tossed them in the freezer.
To thaw, just run under cold water. It should not take very long to thaw completely. Once they are sort of squishy, and you no longer see ice crystals in them, they are safe to cook.
Image used under Creative Commons from Ashleigh Bennett
While freezing radishes is certainly a viable option for long time storage, they will never taste as good as they do when eaten fresh. However, if you want to save them for future dishes you plan on cooking, then freezing them is okay. The taste won’t be quite as potent, but you’ll still know you’re eating a radish when you bite into a slice.
Often overlooked as a health food, the radish is a powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals that lead to poor health.
Freezing might not be an ideal method of preserving radishes (because fresh is always better) but it’s better than wasting good radishes. Now that you know how can you freeze radishes, prepare lots of them in the freezer for future cooking! They taste great, they’re good for you, and they’ll put some zing into your day.