A slice of fresh turmeric root is an excellent way to add a dash of flavor and a hit of color to drinks and meals. It’s also an impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and can help with heart health.
If you’re discovering the benefits of turmeric and like to have some on hand when you’re preparing meals, you might be wondering what’s the best way to store the fresh root.
Turmeric can keep in the fridge for up to weeks, and can be frozen for 6 months.
In this guide, we’ll explain the best methods for storing turmeric root.
How To Store Fresh Turmeric Root
Fresh turmeric root can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Here’s the best way to go about it:
- Begin by scrubbing your turmeric root. Dirt and bacteria will be clinging to the skin, and you want to wash them away before putting your turmeric into storage. Scrub using your fingers, or a vegetable brush. The gnarly skin can be quite difficult to clean, so make sure you really get in there.
- Dry the turmeric root using a towel. Drying the turmeric reduces the risk of mold growing. Again, the gnarly skin can be hard to clean, so use a paper towel to ensure all the moisture is blotted.
- Wrap your turmeric root in a brown paper bag. This will absorb moisture, and can prevent mold growth. Don’t wrap the root up too tightly, as it needs to be able to breathe.
- Place the wrapped turmeric in your refrigerator, where it’s easy to access. It should stay fresh for up to two weeks.
If you still have turmeric left after two weeks (and it hasn’t started to grow mold), you might want to freeze the remaining amount. This way, you have guaranteed freshness for longer.
Can You Freeze Turmeric Root
Yes, you can freeze turmeric root. Turmeric root freezes well, and can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. However, it does lose some firmness when defrosted.
How To Freeze Turmeric Root
- Begin by scrubbing your turmeric root. You don’t want to freeze germs and dirt with your turmeric, so make sure it’s clean before storing.
- If you prefer to peel your turmeric root, you can do this now using a vegetable peeler or knife. We recommend wearing gloves, as turmeric is a strong natural dye. You don’t have to peel turmeric to eat it, and you can peel frozen turmeric, so this step is a personal choice.
- Slice your turmeric root into pieces. Consider how much turmeric you tend to use at a time, and slice the root into separate portions.
- Wrap the sliced turmeric in a paper towel. This will absorb moisture, keeping the root firmer. Place the wrapped turmeric in a freezer safe bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Seal the bag, and write what you’ve frozen, and the date frozen, on the front. Place in the freezer, and your turmeric root should freeze quickly.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Turmeric Root?
When you’re ready to use your turmeric, simply move it from the freezer to the refrigerator. Keep it in its paper towel wrapping, and allow it to defrost. As you’ve frozen the turmeric in small slices, it should defrost relatively quickly.
Some recipes can be made with frozen turmeric. For example, you can add frozen turmeric directly to your smoothies. You can also grate frozen turmeric into dishes and smoothies.
Can You Refreeze Turmeric?
Once you’ve defrosted turmeric, it shouldn’t be refrozen. Freezing and refreezing food causes cells to expand and break down, eventually causing your food to become mushy.
Thawing and refreezing can also enable the growth of bacteria.
Instead of refreezing, simply slice your turmeric root before freezing. That way, you only have to thaw as much as you need.
Freezing Turmeric Root Paste
An alternative method for freezing fresh turmeric is to make it into a paste (see also: How To Make Turmeric Paste ). Here’s how to go about it:
- Make your turmeric root paste using fresh turmeric root. Turmeric root paste is made using a mixture of turmeric, coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh ginger, water and black pepper, which are blended and simmered. This paste can then be added to meals, smoothies, and drinks.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and dollop single portions of the paste across the pan.
- Place the sheet pan and parchment paper in the freezer for 4 to 6 hours.
- Once the paste has frozen, you can remove it from the paper, and seal in a freezer bag. Label the bag with what you’re freezing, and the date of freezing.
- Make your turmeric root paste.
- Fill an ice cube tray with individual portions of the turmeric paste.
- Place the ice cube tray in the freezer for 4 to 6 hours.
- Once the paste has frozen, remove the individual portions from the ice cube tray, and seal them in a freezer bag. Label and date the bag.
You can also use this method to store grated, blended, or shredded turmeric.
Storing Ground Turmeric
Fresh turmeric is excellent if you’re making smoothies and drinks, but the short shelf life can make it inconvenient. Instead, you may prefer to use ground turmeric.
There are benefits and disadvantages to both forms of turmeric, so it’s up to you which you use.
Ground turmeric should be kept in an airtight container, in a cool, dark area. Ground turmeric can be kept for up to 3 years if stored correctly.
However, you might find it starts to lose some potency after 6 months. Exposure to light and heat can affect the potency of ground turmeric.
Stored correctly, turmeric root can last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and up to 6 months in the freezer.
With your turmeric safely stored, you can start cooking with it! Fresh turmeric root is an excellent addition to juices and smoothies, and can be used to make hot teas and golden milk lattes.
It also tastes fantastic in curries, soups, and pilafs.