How do you freeze fresh turmeric root?

Can you freeze fresh turmeric root?

Yes, freezing fresh turmeric root is a great way to preserve it for longer term storage. Freezing turmeric helps retain its flavor, color and nutritional value.

What is the best way to freeze fresh turmeric root?

Here are some tips for freezing fresh turmeric root:

  • Select fresh, firm turmeric rhizomes. Avoid turmeric that is shriveled or has soft spots.
  • Wash and dry the turmeric thoroughly.
  • Cut the turmeric into smaller pieces, 1-2 inches in size. This makes it easier to use the frozen turmeric later on.
  • Blanch the turmeric pieces briefly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This helps retain color and texture when freezing.
  • Immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Pat dry and pack the blanched turmeric pieces into freezer bags or airtight containers. Squeeze out excess air.
  • Label with the date and quantity. Turmeric can be kept frozen for 4-6 months.
  • For better portioning, you can also freeze turmeric puree in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to freezer bags.

Why blanch turmeric before freezing?

Blanching or briefly boiling the turmeric before freezing offers several advantages:

  • It helps retain the bright yellow-orange color of the turmeric. Enzymes in raw turmeric can cause oxidation and color loss during freezing.
  • It softens the cell structure of the turmeric so that it doesn’t toughen up when frozen.
  • It slows down the enzymatic activity that can lead to loss of flavor and texture.
  • It reduces the risk of contamination from any surface microbes.
  • It removes excess moisture that can cause ice crystals to form during freezing.

So take the extra couple minutes to blanch fresh turmeric root before freezing for best quality frozen turmeric.

How long does frozen turmeric last?

Properly frozen turmeric can last 4 to 6 months in the freezer before losing flavor and potency.

  • Turmeric stored at 0°F or below maintains its quality better than higher freezer temperatures.
  • Store frozen turmeric in airtight packaging to prevent freezer burn.
  • Blanched whole turmeric pieces last longer frozen compared to cubes or pureed turmeric.
  • Label packages with the date and quantity to use within recommended time.

Check frozen turmeric for any signs of freezer burn, oxidation or ice crystals before use. Discard if it shows signs of degradation.

How do you use frozen turmeric?

Here are some ways to use frozen turmeric:

  • Add frozen turmeric pieces or cubes to curries, soups, stews, etc. There’s no need to thaw first.
  • Blend frozen turmeric into smoothies, juice, latte or golden milk drinks.
  • Thaw larger turmeric pieces and grate or mince into dishes.
  • For turmeric paste, thaw turmeric and process in a blender with some water and oil.
  • Substitute thawed frozen turmeric 1:1 for fresh in any recipe.

Adjust cooking time to allow for frozen state of the turmeric. The freezing process softens the cell structure of the turmeric, so it requires less cooking time compared to fresh.

What are the benefits of freezing turmeric?

Freezing turmeric root has many advantages:

  • Extends shelf life – Fresh turmeric only lasts 2-3 weeks refrigerated. Freezing expands storage to 4-6 months.
  • Maintains color – Blanching retains the vibrant yellow-orange pigments in turmeric.
  • Retains flavor – Frozen turmeric has a flavor comparable to fresh. Enzymes are inactivated by blanching.
  • Easy to use – Frozen turmeric can be used straight from the freezer.
  • Saves money – Buy fresh turmeric in bulk when prices are lower and freeze extras.
  • Provides convenience – Always have turmeric on hand without running to the store.
  • Allows seasonal use – Enjoy turmeric any time of year by freezing summer’s bounty.

So if you love cooking with fresh turmeric, freezing some for later is an easy way to extend its usefulness and savor its flavor year-round.

What are the downsides to freezing turmeric?

Although freezing is generally beneficial for preserving turmeric, there are a few potential downsides:

  • Space required – Freezing turmeric takes up valuable freezer space.
  • Risk of freezer burn – Improper packaging can cause drying and oxidation.
  • Texture changes – Cell walls rupture during freezing, causing softening.
  • Degradation over time – Color, flavor and aroma still diminish after several months.
  • Loss of freshness – Frozen turmeric won’t have quite the crisp “snap” of fresh.
  • Ice crystals – Can form inside frozen turmeric, affecting texture.

Proper blanching, packing and storage methods help minimize these downsides for the best quality frozen turmeric. Overall, the benefits of freezing tend to outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Does freezing affect turmeric’s health benefits?

Freezing has minimal effects on the nutritional profile and health-promoting properties of turmeric. Its main bioactive compounds, curcuminoids and volatile oils, are quite stable during freezing.

  • Curcumin levels remain high in frozen turmeric. Curcumin provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Freezing inactivates the enzyme myrosinase, needed to form anti-cancer compound ar-turmerone.
  • However, other healthful volatile oils are preserved through freezing.
  • Vitamin C content may decrease slightly during blanching and freezing.
  • Overall, the impact is small enough that frozen turmeric retains its potency.

Research shows that supplement capsules made from both fresh and frozen turmeric had similar health effects, including improving cholesterol levels and arthritis symptoms.

So go ahead and reap the versatile benefits of turmeric all year by freezing some of this golden spice!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze grated turmeric?

Yes, grated fresh turmeric can be frozen. Spread the grated turmeric in a thin layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once fully frozen, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. This prevents clumping. Frozen grated turmeric is convenient for adding to cooking and baking recipes.

Should you peel turmeric before freezing?

Peeling is not necessary before freezing turmeric. The skin helps retain moisture and protects the flesh during freezing. Just wash the rhizomes well and scrub to remove any dirt.

Can frozen turmeric be refrozen after thawing?

It’s best to avoid refreezing thawed turmeric. The additional freezing and thawing will further degrade texture, flavor, and quality. Use thawed turmeric within a couple days.

What is the best way to thaw frozen turmeric?

Let frozen turmeric thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This helps prevent excess moisture loss. You can also thaw in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Microwaving is not recommended as it alters the turmeric’s texture.

How do you store fresh turmeric long-term besides freezing?

Other long-term storage options for fresh turmeric include:

  • Curing – Store at room temp 1-2 weeks until shrivelled then refrigerate.
  • Pickling – Submerge peeled and sliced turmeric in vinegar brine.
  • Drying – Use a dehydrator or oven on the lowest temperature.
  • Canning – Blanch turmeric pieces then can in jars by boiling for 10 minutes.

What dishes can I use frozen turmeric in?

Here are some recipe ideas using frozen turmeric:

  • Curries – Add to curry paste or stir into curries at the end.
  • Soups – Nice in Thai, lentil, chicken noodle, vegetable soups.
  • Smoothies – For color and flavor, e.g. with mango, pineapple, banana.
  • Juices – Mix into green veggie and fruit juices.
  • Rice dishes – Stir into rice pilaf, biryani, coconut rice.
  • Sautéed veggies – Toss with sautéed greens, carrots, beans.
  • Scrambled eggs – Add to eggs along with shallots and veggies.
  • Salad dressing – Whisk with oil, vinegar, herbs for salad dressing.


Freezing fresh turmeric root is simple and results in turmeric that is comparable to fresh. With proper blanching, storage and handling, frozen turmeric retains its signature color, robust flavor, nutritional value and health benefits. Freezing gives you the flexibility to enjoy fresh-tasting turmeric any time of year. Experiment with incorporating frozen turmeric into curries, smoothies, juices, sautés and more.

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