Can you Freeze Fresh Turmeric Root and for How Long?

Yes, fresh turmeric root can be frozen for 3-7 days. The freezing makes it easier to use, helps preserve turmeric antioxidants, and prevents microbial growth. Fresh turmeric roots are more beneficial than turmeric powder as it contains turmeric oil, more antioxidants, and nutrients. However, it is preferable to store it in small batches in freezer-safe bags to preserve its quality and aroma.

Fresh turmeric roots contain more of turmeric oil, antioxidants and nutrients compared to turmeric powder. The freezing process preserves most of its nutritive quality.

Let us now know more about the benefits of fresh turmeric roots, advantages of freezing it and the freezing procedure.

Fresh turmeric root is more beneficial than turmeric powder

You might be wondering why to go extra lengths to buy turmeric roots and freeze them when you can easily find turmeric powder at shops and store them for a longer time.

The answer is that fresh turmeric roots are healthier and contain more nutrients than turmeric powder.

Here are some more benefits of fresh turmeric root:

Contains turmeric oil

The roots hold the essential turmeric oil which can assist in the absorption of turmeric by the body as turmeric is readily soluble in lipids and fats. The oil also provides an increased aroma and flavor.

More antioxidants

Fresh roots have more antioxidant capacity than turmeric powder. In the raw state, turmeric has a greater ability to scavenge free radicals and neutralize the toxins from the body.

More nutrients

During the processing of turmeric for manufacturing turmeric powder, many nutrients are lost including oils, proteins, and some other nutrients.

This is because of the various treatment measures that turmeric undergoes.

However, the final nutrient content depends on the temperature and method used to make the powder.

Better quality

When consuming fresh roots, one can be sure of its quality compared to the powder where there may be a possibility of adulteration with colours and harmful chemicals.

Moreover, it is possible to grow these roots at home, and you can quickly get organic produce.

However, turmeric powder has more concentration of curcumin than the root and therefore, one may require more quantity of fresh roots than the powder to achieve the same effect.

For more details Read –  Why Raw Turmeric is better than powder

Benefits of freezing the roots

Can you Freeze Fresh Turmeric Root and for How Long

Here are some benefits –

Increases storage time

Frozen turmeric roots can be stored for a more extended period as freezing helps in the preservation and prevention of microbial growth for a substantial time.

Most of the microbes are unable to thrive at such low temperatures.

Freezing preserves antioxidants

Freezing certain herbs and vegetables has been found to maintain their antioxidant capacity.

Thus, turmeric, whose ability to treat various ailments is the result of its constituent antioxidants, can be frozen without losing the antioxidant effect.

Easier to use

Frozen turmeric root is more comfortable to grate and add into dishes compared to unfrozen turmeric roots.

Always available

One can be sure of the availability of fresh turmeric roots even when they are not commercially available, especially during the off-season by storing sufficient roots by freezing.

Another alternative, if you do not want to use is to make the golden paste from the fresh root or turmeric pickle. Here are the recipes –

turmeric queries pic

How to Freeze Turmeric Roots at Home

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Materials

  • Turmeric roots
  • Scrub
  • Freezer bags
  • Paper towels or cloth towel

Tools

  • Knife

Instructions

    1. Clean the turmeric roots- Turmeric need not be blanched. Instead, scrub the knobs to remove the dirt with a small brush.
    2. Dry the turmeric roots- The biggest danger to spoiling turmeric is moisture, as it will grow mold easily. Therefore, dab dry the cleaned turmeric roots.
    3. Cut the turmeric into manageable pieces- Break or slice the turmeric roots into 1-1.5 inch pieces. It is not necessary to peel the skin though some prefer to peel it. You may also store small knobs as well without slicing. Wrap them with a paper towel.
    4. Place the pieces in freezer-safe bags- Store the paper towel-wrapped turmeric in a freezer-safe bag or vacuum-sealed bags. Squeeze out all the air as possible before sealing.
    5. Store in the freezer- Place it in the freezer, where you can easily see the bagged turmeric. It is preferable to write the date on the bag so that you know the date of storing. As required, you may pull the turmeric roots and grated them using a micro planer.

Method 2 : How to Freeze Turmeric Roots at Home

Time taken: 15-30 minutes
What you need:

  • Turmeric roots
  • Scrub
  • Freezer bags
  • Paper towels
  • Knife
  • Food processor

Clean and cut the turmeric roots – Wash the fresh rhizome to remove the dirt and peel away the skin. You may also keep the skin. Suppose using a brush angle to get all the corners of the gnarled turmeric root. Cut into small pieces.

Make the turmeric paste – Rub the inside of the food processor’s bowl with two or three drops of oil. Add the turmeric root pieces and blend into a smooth paste. No need to add water as fresh turmeric has enough moisture.

Freeze layer of turmeric paste and make it into cubes – Spread a thin layer of turmeric paste over a plastic container. You may use ice cube trays too to spoon the turmeric paste. Place it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. Once solidified, break the frozen turmeric paste into small cubes.

Store the turmeric cubes – Put the cubes into a ziplock bag and store them back in the freezer with the date. As needed, these pieces may be defrosted and used in soups, smoothies, juices, or golden milk.

Check out this video for more information on how to freeze turmeric paste: 

How long does turmeric root last in the fridge?

Turmeric root may be stored in the fridge to increase its longevity and freshness. It may last in the refrigerator for a week if it is intact with its skin.

However, It has to be wrapped and placed in freezer bags to avoid the formation of mold.

Some mention that it may be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two weeks in an airtight container. It may be kept in the freezer for an extended lifespan.

The precise shelf life depends on how well the turmeric roots are stored.

Tips for freezing turmeric root

Fresh turmeric roots can be frozen in a variety of ways.

One can store small knobs, turmeric slices, grated roots or the roots as a whole.

However, storing in small batches is preferred as one can take out only the required amount from the fridge without thawing the whole turmeric stored.

The roots should be washed and cleaned properly to remove residual soil before freezing. They can be frozen with or without peeling.

Turmeric roots can be frozen for 3-7 days.

Packing

It is better to store the roots in freezer-safe bags and boxes to preserve its quality and aroma.

Precaution

Avoid repeated freezing and thawing of the same roots as rapid and frequent temperature changes can damage some tissues and bring about structural changes.

This may result in loss of color, aroma, flavor and nutritive value.

Thus, it is better to freeze the roots by cutting into small knobs or slices and taking out only what is required.

Can fresh turmeric be used in place of dried turmeric?

Fresh turmeric may be used for dried turmeric powder as it tends to be fresh and packed with nutrients. But you may need double the amount as the dried version tends to be more concentrated. For example, for one teaspoon of dried turmeric, you may need two teaspoons of fresh turmeric.

Can fresh turmeric be frozen?

Yes. Fresh turmeric roots may be frozen for longer shelf life. Choose firm rhizomes and avoid soft ones. It may be cut into thin slices, grated, or whole roots frozen in small batches after cleaning in freezer bags.

How can you use frozen turmeric roots?

Turmeric roots may be added to rice to give a mild flavor and color or blended into a daily smoothie. It may be used with roasted vegetables, soups or sprinkled on sautéed or braised greens.

In the end…

Freezing turmeric roots is a great way to preserve them for a longer time, but they may not remain as fresh as time passes.

14 thoughts on “Can you Freeze Fresh Turmeric Root and for How Long?”

  1. Hello! I have a bulk of root. Can I freeze for longer than 7 days? I would not need to freeze for a 7-day use cycle. Please email me with specifics.

    Reply
  2. Don’t understand why you say you can keep fresh tumeric for longer periods of time when you also saw for 3-7 days ? Because you can keep Tumeric in the fridge in vacuum sealed bags for at least 2 weeks ?

    Reply
  3. I have 3 pounds of Tumeric, remember bringing it from central America and preserving it in vinegar so i could transport and to keep for extended times.
    Now that it available. but costly, i buy in large quantities, how could i preserve it to keep for long periods w the nutritional values and antioxidants? i hsd never heard of freezing it before. Yet sounds ideal but i would need longer than one week to preserve.. What do you suggest?

    Reply
    • Hi. We have not come across any data that suggests that efficacy of curcumin would be affected adversely when the rhizome is frozen. It is safe to freeze turmeric roots for storage.

      Reply
  4. I’m a avid user of turmeric and I’ve come across a great health drink, trying to find an individual or corporate office to help me establish a patent.
    I’ve been on this drink for seventeen years and find it remarkable.

    Reply
  5. That’s a clever trick. Freezing spices is an unusual concept, one that we often don’t think much about. It seems like it would work well, as long as you planned in advance.

    My one issue would be timing. You say that the roots can be frozen for up to 7 days. It doesn’t seem like that is long enough to make the process worth the effort.

    Reply
  6. I grow tumeric and have found that it keeps all summer if I leave it in the dirt! I would suggest to anyone who purchases raw roots that they will keep longer in a pot of dirt rather than freezing them

    Reply
  7. TFH team Posting on behalf of Emily S –

    Another, more long term, method for freezing fresh turmeric root: I buy 2 or 3 pounds of fresh root.

    I crush them, leaving them still mostly attached. (small sledge hammer I have in my kitchen)

    I simmer all the roots in a stainless steel pot on very low heat (back burner, #2 setting on electric stove), pouring off liquid when I see the color. Cool the liquid and pour into ice cube trays, then put the ice cubes into baggies to keep them from drying out.

    You can get eight ice cube trays from 2 pounds of turmeric root.

    Use the ice cubes in rice, beans, stew, soup, smoothies, and in your dog’s dish. know anyone with chickens or hogs? – feed the depleted root to them. You can give the sack of ice cubes to other people.

    Reply
  8. My ginger and turmeric plants are starting to go dormant. Can I still harvest the roots or should I go back to organic powder? My gingers were starting to send up blooms, I brought them inside and now the blooms are dying, is it just the change from outside to inside?

    Reply
  9. “Turmeric roots can be frozen for 3-7 days.”
    is “days” a typo? it doesn’t make sense at all to freeze anything for such a short time, i’m shure it’s “months”!

    Reply

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