Beets are among the most common root vegetables that households include in their cuisines.
Including beets in your meals will add flavor to your meals and add high nutritional value to your diet. Beets contain bits of minerals, vitamins, and other plant components.
In addition to their medicinal properties, beets will give you these benefits:
- Balance out your blood pressure levels
- Boost your physical productivity
- Improve your digestive process
- Aid in your brain health
- Acts as an anti-inflammation aid
With all these benefits, you can’t afford to have your beets spoil due to poor storage.
Some people prefer storing their beets in the traditional format of having a root cellar and filling it with damp sand or sawdust. Though the method is effective, it’s taxing and requires your frequent attention.
For this reason, most people would rather freeze their beets and still have them fit for consumption after a while.
You can freeze your beets in the different forms as :
- Raw and chopped
Let’s look at how you freeze each of these.
How to Freeze Roasted Beets
Have these items ready as you begin this exercise
- Vegetable peeler
- Chopping board
- Roasting pan
- Foil paper
- Half a glass of water
- Freezing bags
- Separate the greens from the bulb of the beet. Retain a small stem on the beet about 1.5 inches
- Cut off the long roots from the beet retaining only 2 inches length of the roots.
- Clean the beets with your hands, and in case the beets still have organic dirt stuck, you can gently use a vegetable brush to clean.
- Preheat your oven and regulate the heat to 400 F
- Organize your beets in a spacious roasting pan
- Add a glass of water and ensure the water doesn’t go beyond half-inch deep.
- Get your foil paper and cover the roasting pan tightly, ensure you leave no space for air to escape.
- Let the beets roast for 1 hour till tender depending on the size. Small ones can take 45 minutes.
- Once the beets are fork-tender, take them out and let them cool off.
- Remove the beets’ skin and cut off the remaining roots and stem gently. If your hands prove difficult to skin, you can consider using a peeler. However, let it be gentle.
- Cut the beets to your desired thickness but be keen not to exceed the ¼” the small ones you can have them whole. While chopping them, have your gloves on to avoid the discoloring of your hands.
- At this point, your beets are ready for freezing. Get your freezing bags and fill them with your beets. Be sure to note the date and any other relevant detail on the bag for easy identification in the future. By following this procedure to the letter, you can have your beets for up to 8 months.
How to Freeze Blanched Beets
For this exercise, you need to have:
- Chopping board
- Boiling pot
- Protective gloves
- Freezing containers
- Cut the long roots and stem from your beets, retaining no more than ½” on each end.
- Clean the beets to remove all external organic dirt. You can use your vegetable brush to ensure they are clean.
- Have a large ready bowl filled with ice and some water
- On a separate pot, boil enough water guided by the number of beets you intend to blanch.
- Put the beets in your boiling water by size. Smaller beets will take lesser time, around 25 minutes, while the large ones take longer, approximately 1 hour.
- Once tender, drain. Immediately place them in the ice bowl to prevent further cooking.
- Let the beets cool and get rid of the stem and roots.
- Slice the beets to your preferred size
- Put the beets in your freezing pots and label them appropriately, then freeze up to when desired. However, try not to exceed the eight months limit.
How to Freeze Raw Beets
Beets like other roots vegetables like carrots can be frozen raw and turn out just fine.
Have these items ready as you prepare to freeze your beets raw.
- Cleaning water
- Vegetable brush
- Slicing board
- Freezing bags
- Vegetable peeler
- Clean the beets with a vegetable brush
- Cut off the stem and the roots and skin the beets.
- Slice your beets to your desired size
- Freeze your beets in a freezing bag and label accordingly.
From this analysis, you can tell it’s an easy task to have your beets long enough. For a whole eight months, you can be assured of a consistent fresh supply of your favorite vegetable.
How to Ensure Freezing Your Beets Runs Smoothly
For the freezing exercise to work without hitches, you need to check out the following:
- Ensure the beets you have chosen are free from diseases and pests and let them have the stem and the roots. You will remove these later in the process.
- Remove all the air from your freezing containers and bags. If you tend to freeze your vegetables a lot, you can consider investing in a vacuum sealer. The less air there is in your freezing bags, the longer the beets will retain their quality.
A vacuum sealer also prevents your beets from freezer burns that cause blackish discoloration on your beets and ruins their taste.
- To minimize the red coloration of the beets from coming off, commonly referred to as “bleeding,” add vinegar when boiling or even lemon juice.
- Pressure cooking your beets will work better when preparing to freeze the blanched beets.
- In case you don’t have a sealer, you can remove the air using a straw. Suck the air from the small space you have left after zipping the bag, and once sure there are no traces of air left, zip the bag fast.
The essence of freezing your beets is to store them long enough while retaining their quality in terms of nutritional value, taste, color, and flavor. Proper preparation and packaging will ensure you get your beets in just the right quality you need. Take your time to get the whole process right for optimal results.