Many of us are familiar with horseradish as a sauce. We come to know horseradish as a creamy sauce with a bit of a bite.
But in actuality, horseradish is actually its own root vegetable (much like turmeric and ginger). It is simply used to make that delicious sauce.
Now that we’ve established horseradish is actually a plant that can be used, our horizons have substantially expanded.
Maybe you are ahead of the game and you already knew that. Regardless of your knowledge of horseradish, we’re glad you’re here.
Horseradish is one of those things in which a little bit goes a long way. If you make a horseradish sauce or use your horseradish for something else, chances are you will have extra horseradish to contend with. What do you do with it?
The question is, can you freeze horseradish? You can freeze horseradish and there is more than one way to do so. We recommend freezing it grated rather than whole as it tends to freeze better that way.
In this guide, we will walk you through all of the details surrounding how to freeze horseradish. We will share a lot of information about horseradish in hopes that it might be helpful to you for the process.
Keep reading to learn all about freezing horseradish and so much more.
The Complete Guide to Freezing Horseradish
Horseradish comes from a flowering perennial plant. The part that is used in the kitchen is the root vegetable of the plant. Horseradish can be used as a spice for cooking or as a condiment and sauce.
While horseradish is now used worldwide, it was originally found and used in parts of Europe and Asia. The root is the most commonly used part of the plant. If you cut into horseradish, you might experience a reaction much like with cutting into an onion.
We’re sorry if horseradish makes you cry. We promise it is well worth it!
Horseradish is now considered a garden vegetable. However, if you look at the history of horseradish you would see that it has at times been used for medicinal purposes as well.
Horseradish has a reputation for having a bit of a kick. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy but certainly packs a small amount of a bite that will get your attention.
Most people purchase horseradish sauce already prepared because of the pungent odor that will fill your sense when you try to work with it. You can grate the root fresh or you can even dry it or turn it into a powder.
In terms of horseradish sauce, usually, it is just made with horseradish with vinegar and salt added to it.
Horseradish is always best when it is fresh because that is when it has the best flavor. Once it has been mixed or diluted with another substance, the potency is heavily degraded. This doesn’t mean it won’t be good, it just may not be as good.
Unless you have a seasoned palate for all things horseradish, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
The horseradish will still have that bite it is known for. Once you cut into horseradish, it’s downhill from there. It will quickly deteriorate from that point so work quickly.
There are many dishes you can make with horseradish to spice them up a bit. Here are a few ideas for you.
- Add to mayonnaise
- Add to mustard
- Deviled eggs
- Potato salad
- Macaroni salad
- Potato dishes
- Use horseradish sauce as a condiment
- Make a dressing with a kick
- Put in coleslaw
- Use with sushi
- Add to guacamole or hummus
- Put in scrambled eggs or breakfast casseroles
These are just a few great ways to use your horseradish. On many of these, you can use grated horseradish or a horseradish sauce.
Let us reiterate that almost as soon as you grate or cut into your horseradish, you should get it in vinegar. The vinegar helps to preserve the character of the plant and prevent it from degrading.
Health Benefits of Horseradish
Because horseradish is a root vegetable, it has a significant number of associated health benefits. Most of these you would be totally unaware of since horseradish is not a highly commercialized food.
Here are a few of the known health benefits that horseradish can provide:
- Clear sinuses and reduces mucus and congestion.
- Potentially increases cancer resistance through the compound glucosinolates due to detoxification properties of the compound.
- Horseradish is high in Vitamin C.
- Horseradish has antibiotic properties contained naturally within the root. These can help clear UTIs as well as kill bacteria in the throat.
- Horseradish can help treat kidney stones and edema and can be used as a diuretic.
- Horseradish stimulates the appetite (for those who lack an appetite).
- Horseradish can reduce and prevent toothaches.
These are just a few of the most-known health benefits of horseradish but there are many more that are still being tested or simply have not yet been discovered.
Making Horseradish Sauce
Horseradish sauce is perhaps the most popular use for horseradish. Even if you make one of the items listed above as ideas for using horseradish, you are probably going to first either dry it or make it into a sauce.
We’re not going to walk you through an entire recipe for making horseradish sauce, we just want to have a quick discussion on the process.
Everyday horseradish salt contains horseradish, vinegar, and salt. Sometimes, the sauce is added to with beets or beet juice to spruce up the color.
You can also make a creamy horseradish sauce. This is perhaps the more popular version of horseradish sauce. This is achieved simply by adding sour cream and mayonnaise into the mixture to make it smooth and creamy.
Creamy horseradish sauce is used more like a dip or an additive to things like deviled eggs and potato salads. Since it is creamy, it fits right into the mix and the flavor is the only thing that will give it away.
How to Freeze Horseradish
Now we’ve arrived at our freezing process. By now you should be slightly familiar with what horseradish is and how you might work with it. You even understand horseradish is not a sauce until you make it so.
For the purposes of this guide, as we walk through how to freeze horseradish you should be aware that we are referring specifically to the root form of horseradish.
You can freeze or even can your horseradish sauce (depending on whether it’s creamy) but we are not covering that material in this guide.
Here are your instructions for freezing horseradish:
- If you plan to use horseradish root within 1-2 weeks, leave it uncut and unwashed in a bag in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator.
- You can freeze it whole but we recommend freezing it grated for the best results.
- Separate the grated horseradish into small portions so you can use just what you need. Work quickly or soak it in vinegar to preserve the horseradish. If you are freezing it whole, you can skip the vinegar step. Drain vinegar prior to freezing.
- Wrap horseradish in foil.
- Place wrapped foil packages into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
- Label, date, and seal the packaging.
- Place horseradish in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you are ready to use your horseradish, you can take it directly from the freezer to your dish. If you still need to grate the horseradish, it will be easy to do so. It may be slightly harder to peel the horseradish from this point.
There are no thawing or defrosting tactics you need to worry about. However, do not try to thaw and then refreeze portions of the horseradish.
This is why we recommend grating it and separating it into portions. If you freeze it whole, quickly cut off the portion you need and replace the remainder back into freezer storage so it is not affected negatively.
We hope that you find this guide to freezing horseradish to be quite useful for you. It’s a simple process but there is a lot you should know about how horseradish can be affected by open air.
We invite you to take a look at the following question and answer section for some additional information.
How Can You Tell if Horseradish is Bad?
If your horseradish turns a dark color or becomes mushy, it is most likely no longer good. If this happens, we recommend you throw out the horseradish.
This is the same of grated, whole, or even prepared horseradish.
Is Horseradish Hot When it is Whole?
Horseradish heat is actually activated by oxygen when it is cut or grated. Horseradish contains a compound known as isothiocyanate which is provoked when subjected to air.
Can You Use Horseradish Skin?
Horseradish skin is not recommended for use. While it is considered safe, there are a high number of allergic reactions that are directly related to horseradish skin. It’s best to peel it much like you would a potato.