We love beets; they are healthy and just so delicious. There are many methods to preserve fresh beets. Preserving allows us to use the abundance of beets in future recipes. Here, we share How to Freeze Beets for Winter in 3 Easy Ways.
We like to grow Cylindra, a lovely Heirloom beet that grows in a long cylindrical shape. It’s very nice for slicing. Sometimes, they get huge.
We also love the Beet Chioggia, an Italian beet variety that is red and white. This variety is a bit sweeter and does not bleed like red beets. I also find that this variety is a bit easier on digestion.
Any beet varieties can be frozen. Small beets are delicious fresh for a beet salad. Large beets are suitable for long-term storage in a cold room or cellar for later use. Anything in between can be used for frozen beets.
Note: To my knowledge, there is no such thing as blanched beets. They must go through a cooking process before freezing or can be frozen raw (see version 3). Beet tops can also be frozen; read more below.
1. How to freeze cooked beets
Beets are best to be cooked whole with the skin on. Just cut up the leaves, leaving about an inch and the root end intact, preventing them from bleeding. Clean the whole beets thoroughly with a vegetable brush and layer larger beets at the bottom of the pot, finishing with a smaller size. As soon as you can put a fork in, they are done. It will take 30-50 minutes, depending on the beet size.
It works very well with cooking up a lot of beets whenever we want them for supper and freezing the rest. I like to cook beets in a pot with about an inch of water at the bottom so that the beets are steamed, not boiled in water. It preserves the vibrant color and tastes better. Read more on How to steam vegetables without a steamer. But beets can also be cooked in water, like potatoes.
After the beets are cooked, peel them under cold running water; the skin will come right off. Or let the beets cool off and then peel them. It does not matter for freezing beets since you want them to be cold anyway.
To freeze beets, slice them and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to plastic freezer bags or airtight containers for easy portioning.
We can enjoy delicious beets year-round by reheating frozen slices or using thawed ones in salads, soups, and other recipes.
2. How to Freeze Roasted Beets
The idea to freeze roasted beets came from a reader; we tried it and liked it. We used the Chioggia beet, our favorite beat for roasting. However, any beet variety can be used. Medium beets are best for roasting.
After cleaning the root vegetables, cut the beets into the desired size; you can peel them or roast them with skin on and slip the skin off after roasting.
Drizzle with olive oil or balsamic vinegar, spread out on a baking sheet, and roast for 15-30 minutes at 350F so they are barely done; they can be pierced with a fork.
Let cool, and transfer the baking sheet into a freezer. When frozen, transfer the roasted beets into a freezer bag or container. That way, you can easily take portions out as needed. Reheat in the oven; this time, you can use a roasting pan, sprinkle with some seasoning for about 20 minutes, or in a covered dish in the microwave for 5 minutes.
3. How to Freeze chopped raw beets
Beets can also be frozen raw when chopped into small pieces. This is a great way to freeze beets for soups and borscht. Chopped vegetables do not have to be blanched in boiling water before freezing. Just like carrots, they keep well raw.
Peel and cut the raw beets into small pieces with a sharp knife on a cutting board. Transfer them into a freezer bag, label, and freeze. Any beet variety and size can be frozen like that.
To prevent freezer burn and keep the best quality, you want to keep them from air exposure. A vacuum sealer will give you the best results. An airtight container can also be used; ensure not to put much air in it with the frozen food. When using plastic bags, a good practice is to roll the bag before closure to remove excess air. this works great for chopped raw beets and beet tops.
Beet greens can be frozen, too. See how to freeze greens here.