Can you freeze beets? It’s not unusual to crave beets when they are out of season. To preserve fresh beets from your garden, you may want to consider freezing them. Take advantage of sales at farmer’s markets or supermarkets by following these easy steps for freezing beets.
For best results, only the freshest beets should be chosen for freezing, as those that are somewhat limp may become mushy when frozen. The ideal beets will be a deep, even red color, and contain crisp stems and leaves.
Inspect beets carefully for signs of decay, and cut away any damaged pieces to ensure you are working only with top quality specimens. While beets of any size may be frozen, the ideal size for freezing is around two to three inches in diameter. Keep this number in mind when you are buying beets to freeze later.
Although frozen beets will keep almost indefinitely, you should nonetheless eat them within twelve months after freezing if you are to fully enjoy their flavor.Below is a guide on how can you freeze beets:
Image used under Creative Commons from Market Manager
How to Freeze Beets?
Preparing the Beets
Cut the tops and bottoms off of your beets with a sharp knife, leaving around ½ to one inch of both the stems and roots. This will allow them to maintain an even color when they are cooked. Next, scrub them gently in a sink full of cool water to remove dirt and residue. Drain them by placing on paper towels to absorb excess water.
Cooking the Beets Prior to Freezing
Raw beets are not suitable for freezing; therefore, you must cook them first. Place your beets in a large kettle and cover them slightly with water. Boil for around 30 to 45 minutes until they are completely tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse your beets and then discard the liquid.
Allow the beets to cool enough so that you can remove their skins and finish cutting off the roots and stems. When beets are cooked thoroughly, the skins should slide off easily by hand. Slice them into evenly sized pieces, or leave them whole if they are very small beets.
Packing the Beets for Freezing
Freeze beets by placing them inside clean freezer containers, Ziploc storage bags or vacuum sealed bags. Make sure to remove any excess air from your bags, as this will allow your beets to stay fresh longer. Label them with their contents and date of packing before storing them in your freezer.
Image used under Creative Commons from NatalieMaynor
How to Defrost Frozen Beets?
Frozen beets can be thawed at room temperature and served cold, or may be cooked by simmering them on top of the stove in a pan full of water.Frozen beets make excellent side dishes, and are also ideal for
Frozen beets make excellent side dishes, and are also ideal for use in soups, stews, and casseroles. Since they freeze well, there should be no noticeable difference in the taste, color or texture when compared to canned beets.
Surprisingly, beets do freeze well and require very little advance preparation before placing them in the freezer. The next time you come across an abundance of fresh beets, stock up on this vegetable. Now that you know how can you freeze beets, just stick the veggies in the freezer!