If beets form part of your grocery shopping each time you visit your local store, they need to be stored properly to serve you longer. There are different beet storage methods you can employ to prolong your beets shelf life.
Raw beets can last in the refrigerator up to 14 days, while cooked beets 3-5 days. Once you open pickled beets, they can last for about two months once opened if they are kept in the refrigerator. Frozen beets can last from 8-12 months.
I have been buying beets for a long time now but they only last a few days before I have to throw them away. I don’t know if it’s the way I store them or it’s because I don’t know how to select the right beets. One way or another I need to know how to properly store my beets so they last longer and still retain their nutrients.
All About Beets and How to Use Them
Beets have been eaten and used as traditional medicine for centuries. Although beets are sweet when eaten raw you can also roast, boil, steam bake, fry, or even grill them.
The most common garden beet is the red beet but you will also find the white, yellow, and candy-striped beets in selected stores. The sugar beet is mainly used in producing sugar. However, the beet greens are very much edible and nutritious.
Before storing the beets, you need to know how to select the right beets so that you don’t buy spoiled or old beets.
Selecting the Right Beets
- Go for beets that have a deep red color, are firm and small, has unblemished skin, and the beet greens are bright and look fresh with no signs of wilting.
- Buy beets that have their leaf stems still attached to the root as a sign of freshness.
- Avoid buying beets that have spots and scales.
- Avoid large beets that have a hairy taproot which is an indication of that the beets are tough and old. They could also have a tough, woody center which makes it hard to cook. Now that you have bought the right beets, let’s look at the different beet storage methods you can use to prolong the shelf life.
The Best Way To Store Beets
Should beets be refrigerated?
Refrigerating beets is a good way of storing and preserving the beets if you can’t eat them all at once and also to prolong their shelf life in case you can even freeze them so that you keep their nutrients and quality intact till you want to eat them again.
Storing Raw Beets Short Term
As soon as you get home, cut the leaves but leave 2-inches from the root to prevent the leaves from draining all the moisture from the root but don’t trim the roots.
If you do not cut the leaves, they will last a few days in the refrigerator or left out of the counter.
To increase the shelf life of raw beets, store them in a plastic bag but don’t wash them to avoid any moisture that can make them rot.
If properly stored, raw beets can last for about 14 days in the fridge. Also separately store the beet greens in a plastic bag and use them within 3 days.
You can also freeze them but first, you need to wash them and leave half an inch of stem, cook the beets till tender then cool and peel the beets. Make sure the beets are dry before freezing.
Cut them into slices then put them in freezer bags or air-tight containers. Beets are the best quality if used before 8-12 months if constantly frozen. But they can still be eaten after this date.
Storing Cooked Beets Short Term
Cooked beets can last 3-5 days in the fridge if refrigerated within two hours after cooking. For cooked beets to last longer without compromising the quality, put them in an air-tight container and refrigerate.
You can also freeze them in freezer bags for long periods of time for up to 12 months and they’re still safe to eat with their nutrients intact. Make sure not to leave cooked beets for more than 2 hours at room temperature because bacteria grow very fast at such temperatures.
How to Store Pickled Beets
The beet storage time for pickled beets depends on the expiration date, if you keep them refrigerated continuously, if the jar isn’t damaged, and if there are no signs of the beets getting spoiled.
Once you open the pickled beets, keep then refrigerated throughout and the beets can stay in good quality for about 2 months.
If the pickled beets get spoiled they will give out a bad smell, develop mold, or have an unusual appearance. Also if he can start leaking, starts to bulge or become dented, it’s time to throw out the beets.
You now know how to store your beets in a better way.
Beets are great veggies that are loaded with nutrients but if not properly stored can lose all the nutrients.
If you don’t like eating beets raw you can cook them then store in the fridge to prolong the beets shelf life.
You can store raw and cooked beets in the fridge or freezer or pickled beets once opened so that they don’t spoil fast. Watch this to learn more about how to store your beets.
Long Term Storage of Beets
If you have a good amount of beets to store you may need a long-term solution to storing your beets. The best way to store beets to have them last the longest time is to either canning them or freezing them.
You do not need to blanch beets when freezing them.
You can simply:
- Cut the beets according to the size you want. Usually into cubes or 1/4 inch slices.
- Freeze on tray.
- Put in freezer bags or vaccum seal.
Canned beets can last from 12-18 months. But first you will need to see if you have enough beets for canning them.
- at least 5 pounds to start canning
- 20-22 pounds of beets will make 7 US quarts
- 13-15 pounds of beets will make 9 pints
What you will need:
- canning or picking salt
- jars with lids and rings
- saucepan or pressure cooker
- jar holder
- potato scrubber
Steps to Canning Plain Beets
- Clean the beets with a potato peeler.
- Remove greens, leaving 2-3 inches of the stem from the top of the root.
- Next, cook the beets. Put the beets in the saucepan or pressure cooker and fill with water slightly above the top of the beets. Bring the water to a boil. If using a saucepan it will take around 45 min. until beets are tender. With a pressure cooker time will be reduced to about 10-15 min.
- Cool the beets. Place beets in the refrigerator or put them in an ice bath.
- Remove skins and cut beets to desired thickness.
- Fill your sauce pan with water and place it back on the stove to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt for each jar.
- Place your beets inside the jars leaving 3/4" to 1" of head-space at the top of the jar.
- Fill the jars with the boiling water, again leaving 3/4"-1" of head-space.
- Place lids and rings on jars tightly.
- Now your beets are ready to pressure cook. With jar tongs or holders, place the jars in the pressure cooker and follow pressure cooking instructions based on the amount you have. For canning without a pressure cooker, go here.
Should you wash beets before storing?
If storing beets in the fridge you shouldn’t wash the beets. However, if you’re going to freeze the beets you need to wash the beets, cut the stem but leave about 2-inches to avoid bleeding then place them in freezer bags.
How do you keep beets fresh for longer?
Separately store the beet greens and the root in plastic bags and store the greens for about 2 days and the root for about 10 days. You can also freeze cooked beets for up to 10 months.
Can you eat beetroot after use of date?
Are frozen beets good?
Although frozen beets have a different taste and texture than fresh beets, they still have the same flavor. They also retain their nutritional value just like the fresh beets.
Can you store beets in a root cellar?
The root cellar should have temperatures of between 32-40 degrees and the beets should be stored in either sawdust, sand, or damp peat moss. Using a plastic container with a tight lid to retain the moisture.