Fresh turmeric can be preserved in a number of different ways, depending on how long you want to store it. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and around six months in the freezer, or you can dehydrate it and turn it into powder for much longer storage. You can also cover it with oil and store it in the refrigerator for several months.
Here are four very easy methods to preserve turmeric.
1. Store Fresh Turmeric Root In The Refrigerator For Up To 2 Weeks
Follow these easy steps to store your fresh turmeric in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Wash your turmeric, making sure to get all the dirt off. You might want to use a brush for this. This will remove any dirt and also any residual pesticides that may be on the root.
- Pat the turmeric dry with a paper towel. Make sure that the root is totally dry before you store it, as this will stop any mold from growing.
- Put your turmeric into a brown paper bag before putting it into the fridge. The brown paper will absorb any moisture, especially in a damp fridge environment. If you don’t have a brown paper bag handy, you can also wrap your turmeric root in a clean piece of paper towel and place it into a plastic bag.
- You can store your turmeric in the fridge for up to two weeks.
2. Store Fresh Turmeric Root In The Freezer For Up To 6 Months
If you don’t plan to use your turmeric within two weeks or you have an oversupply, you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Bear in mind that the turmeric root will not be quite as firm when you eventually defrost it. Here’s what to do.
- Wash and scrub the turmeric root to get rid of any dirt and residual pesticides. Making sure that your turmeric is clean will help to preserve it well.
- Prepare your turmeric for the freezer by cutting the root into one-inch cubes. This means that you can just take out one cube at a time for when you want to use some turmeric in a meal you’re preparing for the family.
- Wrap each cube in a piece of paper towel and then place these into a freezer bag.
- Seal the bag, making sure that you’ve expelled all the air first. This will prevent freezer burn.
- Write the date on the bag and store this in your freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to use your frozen turmeric, take it out of the freezer and grate it while still frozen, as this will make it easier.
3. Preserve Your Turmeric By Dehydrating It For Up To One Year
If you want to preserve your turmeric for up to one year, it’s best to dehydrate it and turn it into powder. You can either dehydrate your turmeric in the oven or use a food dehydrator.
How To Dehydrate Your Turmeric In The Oven
Follow these very easy steps to dehydrate your turmeric in the oven.
- Wash the turmeric root well. You don’t have to scrub it at this stage because you’ll be peeling off the skin during this preparation.
- Peel your turmeric root using a vegetable peeler. You might want to cut off some of the knobs before peeling them to make it easier. Don’t stress too much if there are a few small bits of skin left on the root.
- Cut the root into thin slices. Try to make these as uniform as possible to aid in the dehydrating process. If you make the slices quite thin, they’ll dry much faster in the oven.
- Place the turmeric slices on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with baking paper. Make sure you only place them in one layer on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice.
- Pop the turmeric slices into the oven that you’ve preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius).
- Leave the turmeric in the oven for around 2 hours.
- Take the dried turmeric out of the oven and let it cool slightly.
- Put the slices in a food processor or other type of grinder and grind them into a fine powder. Be aware that the turmeric will stain your grinder.
- Put the finely ground powder into clean and sterilized small jars. Spice jars work well for this.
- Store these jars in the pantry or a dark cupboard for up to 1 year.
How To Dehydrate Turmeric In A Food Dehydrator
If you happen to have a food dehydrator in your kitchen, you can easily use this to dehydrate your turmeric before grinding it into a powder. Here’s what to do.
- Wash the turmeric root and pat it dry with a piece of paper towel.
- Peel the root to remove as much of the skin as possible.
- Slice the turmeric into very thin slices. The thinner your slices are, the quicker they will dry in the dehydrator.
- Place the slices in a single layer on the trays of your dehydrator. You might want to line the trays with some baking paper so that they don’t become too discolored from the turmeric.
- Set the temperature of your dehydrator to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius).
- Put the turmeric slices in the dehydrator and dry for around 5 to 7 hours. The time required will depend on how thin the slices are and how much humidity there is in the air. The dried turmeric slices should be crispy when you take them out.
- Grind the slices into a fine powder using either a food processor or grinder.
- Place the powder onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper spreading it out as much as possible.
- Put this into a very low oven for around 30 minutes or so. This will remove any remaining moisture that there may still be in the powder.
- Put the powder into clean, sterilized jars and store in the pantry or store cupboard for up to 1 year.
4. Preserve Your Turmeric In Oil
Another way to preserve turmeric is by putting it into oil and storing it in your refrigerator. The oil acts as a natural preservative, and you can store it this way for many months. Here’s what to do:
- Wash the turmeric root to remove any dirt.
- Peel the turmeric using a vegetable peeler. You do want to try and get most of the skin off.
- Mince the turmeric using a food processor or other type of mincer.
- Place the minced turmeric into a glass bowl or clean jar that has a lid.
- Cover the minced turmeric with oil. You can use olive oil for this.
- Put the lid on the bowl or jar and pop it into the fridge.
You’ll probably find that the oil might solidify a little in the fridge. However, this is not a problem because you can just scoop out as much of the turmeric as you need for your cooking or meal preparation.
Important Note: It’s important to note that turmeric will stain absolutely everything orange. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to use plastic to store your turmeric.