Storing beets makes sense if you frequently cook it, and you want to have this root crop readily available for any dish. What’s more, is that beets are naturally packed with healthy nutrients that make it a superfood. Many of the natural compounds in beets have medicinal value, too. It’s also easy to add beets to any diet. So even if you prefer meat most of the time, you will appreciate beets all the same.
How Do You Store Beets and Beet Leaves? How to Store Beets?
Beets are relatively easy to store for the short term. If you buy them from the supermarket or a nearby farmer’s market, they can easily be stored for two to three weeks, provided that you know the minimum storage requirements.
The first step in storing beets is washing them. Washing removes bacteria and other pathogens that can cause your beets to degrade and rot faster. After washing the leaves and the root crop with running water, bring them outside for an excellent air-drying.
Cut off the greens and leave just two inches of the stalk attached to the root crop. Do not cut so much of the stem that the beet begins to bleed. There are four kinds of beets: red, purple, white, and yellow.
The white beets and yellow beets generally don’t bleed. The red and purple beets are more likely to bleed if you overcut the stems. On the other hand (after washing), it can be stored separately in Ziploc bags and placed in the refrigerator (for short-term storage). Primary storage for beet greens in the fridge will last approximately two to five days. Beet greens can be used in different recipes.
As you may already know, beet greens can be consumed raw, provided that they have been washed thoroughly before. Do not discard them, and when you see the greens turning yellow, that would be the time to dispose of them. But before that, keep eating them as these leaves and stems are very nutritious.
Do Beets Need to Be Refrigerated?
Can you freeze beets?
Yes, beets can be frozen for long-term storage. Freezing is the ideal method if you want to keep your beets for more than a few weeks at a time. The average storage time for refrigeration is about two to three weeks. Freezing extends the storage time significantly. Here’s how to prepare beets for freezing:
- Selecting the beets is the first step. Pick beets that are already tender but not mushy or soft. If the beets are too soft, they may not freeze properly. You can divide the pile into two: medium beets and small beets.
- As with refrigeration, the leaves of the beets need to be removed. Again, the greens are edible, so be sure to store them separately. They can also be frozen like the rest of the root crop.
- Remember to scrub away at the beets to remove any dirt. The smoother the skin, the better they will store in the freezer.
- Beets can be frozen raw, but they can also be cooked first before being frozen—Cook the smaller beets for half an hour. The larger beets need to be cooked for almost an hour (about fifty minutes in most cases, but it could be longer if you have many beets). Beets are ready when they are fork-tender.
- After cooking, soak your beets in an ice water bath or ice bath to immediately cool them down. Of course, any ice in the bath will melt (some of them). Allow the beets to cool down for a few minutes.
- When the beets have finally cooled down, and you can handle the beets comfortably, proceed to peel the skin of the beets.
- Flash freeze the greens that you have snipped from the fresh beets before putting them in long-term storage. This will reduce the chances of the greens clumping together.
- After peeling the beets, you can either slice them or chop them up. The shape of the beets during freezing does not affect how effectively they will store. Again, this will reduce the chances of clumping together when they are finally frozen.
- Use freezer bags that are large enough for all the beets that you wish to freeze. Make sure that you remove most of the air from the bags. If you have a vacuum sealer at home and high quality sealing bags that are fine for long-term freezing, you can vacuum seal your beets as well.
Can you freeze cooked beets?
Cooked beets can be frozen and thawed out when you are ready to eat the beets. Roasted beets will retain their flavor and texture even after freezing, so you don’t have to worry about the flavor or texture degrading. Here are some general tips for storing and preparing your beets:
- If you aren’t sure how you will use your beets, the best form for them during storage is slicing them. Slices of beets can be chunked up later.
- We highly recommend wearing gloves when working with beets as they can stain your hands quickly. Be careful not to let beet juice flow to your counter or floor either, because they can stain and stay there for a long time. Only bleach works for removing beet stains. Avoid clean-ups by being careful during the preparation.
- Beet leaves can be used fresh or sautéed in so many different recipes. Salt, olive oil, and freshly sliced garlic are excellent for sautéing beet leaves. All recipes that require Swiss chard can be used for preparing the leaves of kale.
- Never store beet in the freezer or refrigerator with the leaves on.
How Long Are Beets Good in The Refrigerator? How long do beets last in the fridge?
On average, they last for two weeks to up to a month in some cases. However, if you are interested in keeping them longer, we recommend freezing the beets instead.