Preserving Fresh Baby Turmeric
Freezing turmeric makes it very convenient to use!
USDA Certified Organic Turmeric from Windcrest Farm
Isn't interesting that our orange veggies and spices are harvested at the same time of year? Think pumpkins, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and of course, turmeric! Here's how I preserve my turmeric for use throughout the year.
Turmeric has an intensive root system extending from the rhizomes. When we harvest, we make sure to return as much of the soil that clings to the roots back to our growing beds while preserving as much of the "turmeric hand" intact as possible. This is a pretty labor-intense project in comparison to many of the above ground crops we harvest!
This is what turmeric looks like before we bring it to market.
And here's what the turmeric looks after removing the roots and rinsing multiple times.
The bulb portion of the rhizome (called the mother) has the highest concentration of curcumin.
To prepare the turmeric for the freezer, I snap apart all the pieces (called fingers) of the turmeric in order to thoroughly clean any residual soil. Unlike mature turmeric, there is no need to peel the skin.
Next, turn on your food processor and drop each piece into the processor chute.
No need to add water - the fresh turmeric has enough moisture to create a nice puree. Also, fresh turmeric is less fibrous than mature turmeric.
Fair warning - turmeric will impart a healthy golden glow to your food processor and kitchen tools. This color does fade with time and does not effect the flavor of foods.
The turmeric puree is spooned into ice cube trays. One pound of turmeric fills approximately 1-1/2 trays.
After freezing, pop the turmeric cubes from the trays, place in a zip lock bag or container, label with date, and return to the freezer.
Each week, or as needed, I place a cube in a small mason jar to defrost in the refrigerator and use in soups, smoothies, juices, Golden Milk, etc. (I use the same technique for our baby ginger.)