How to Freeze Beets

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How to Freeze Beets. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Have more beets than you can eat right now? Freeze some of them to enjoy later.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Varies

What You Need:

  • Beets
  • A cutting board
  • A knife
  • A large pot
  • Ice

Here's How:

  1. Choose bright red, young beets that are tender, but not soft. Then, sort them by size—make one pile for small beets and one for medium. Each gets a different cooking time. Tip: If you buy your beets, rather than growing them yourself, save time by choosing beets that are all about the same size.
  1. Cut off the leaves a half inch from the top of each beet, and set them aside (they're edible, so don't throw them away). Do not cut off the roots just yet. Leaving a bit of the tops and the roots in place will prevent the beets from bleeding when you cook them.
  2. Give the beets a good scrub.
  3. Fill a pot with water; add the beets; and bring the pot to a boil. Cook small beets for 25 to 30 minutes, large beets for 45-50 minutes. They're done when you can easily pierce them with a fork.
  4. Transfer the cooked beets to an ice-water bath, and let them sit for a few minutes.
  5. When they're cool enough to handle, peel off the skins (they should slide right off). Then, cut off the rest of the tops and the roots.
  6. Slice or chop the beets up; then, spread them out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze them. This will prevent the beets from freezing together in clumps.
  7. Once your beets are frozen, package them in freezer bags; and return them to the freezer. They'll keep indefinitely, but are best when used within a year. Since beets have a high water content, you may want to consider vacuum sealing them. This will help to prevent freezer burn.

    Tips:

    1. If you aren't sure how you're going to use your beets just yet, go with slices. You can always cut the slices up into chunks later.
    2. Consider wearing a pair of disposable gloves, while you're working with your beets. The juices will stain your fingers. The same is true for your kitchen counter, so try to be neat as you work. If you need to remove stains from your cutting board or counters, a bleach-water solution works wonders on surfaces that are bleach-safe.
    1. Use this guide to find out what else is in season now. It's broken down by month, so you can make the most of the growing season.

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