Rutabagas are root vegetables that are closely related to turnips. The vegetables are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber and potassium. While you may consume the produce raw, people prepare the produce by using a variety of cooking methods such as baking, steaming, boiling and braising. When you purchase or harvest fresh rutabagas, they must be stored properly to prolong the shelf life. Rutabagas are either stored in the refrigerator or preserved in the freezer.
Things You'll Need
- Vegetable peeler
- Cooking pot
- Ice water
- Freezer container or freezer bag
- Paper towels
- Plastic bag
Slice the green tops off the rutabagas with a knife. Rinse the produce under cool running water.
Peel the outer skin off the rutabagas with a vegetable peeler.
Slice the rutabagas into 1 to 2 inch cubes.
Bring a pot of water to a full boil. Blanch the rutabagas in the water for three minutes.
Place the blanched rutabagas into a bowl of ice water. Allow the produce to cool for three to five minutes.
Store the rutabagas into a freezer container or freezer storage bag. Leave 1/2 inch of head-space in the container.
Place the rutabagas into the freezer.
Remove any excess soil from the rutabagas. Rinse the produce under cool running water.
Cut off the tops and small roots from the rutabagas. Dry the rutabagas off with paper towels.
Place the rutabagas in a plastic bag. Store the produce in the refrigerator at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Rutabagas will last longer with a humidity level of 98 to 100 percent, so store them into a controlled vegetable storage drawer for best results.
Tips & Warnings
- Mash rutabagas by cooking the cubes until they are tender. Drain the rutabagas and mash them with a potato masher. Pack the rutabagas into containers, allow them to cool and leave 1/2 inch of head-space. Store the containers in the freezer.
- Refrigerated rutabagas will last for up to four months while frozen rutabagas may last for 12 months.
- Avoid applying a wax to rutabagas if you plan to store them because the wax can severely injure the produce.
- Colorado State University Extension; Freezing Vegetables; P. Kendall; March 2008
- University of Wisonsin Extension; Storing Vegetables at Home; H.C. Harrison; 1996
- Oregon State University; Rutabaga (Swede) and Turnip; August 2004
- Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health: Rutabaga
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Freezing Rutabagas