Freezing Fresh Beets

In the olden days, fruits and vegetables needed to be canned, dried, or pickled in order to preserve them for the long winter ahead. Fortunately, nowadays, we also have the options of buying obscenely expensive produce all winter that’s been imported from warmer, exotic climes…OR….freezing things. This year is a year of experimentation for us. We’re experimenting with how beets fare in the freezing process. If you don’t get around to doing this yourself, we’ll be letting you know how this works out for us.

In order to freeze beets, you should choose fresh, firm beets that, ideally, are not more than 3 inches across.

Scrub the beets well and trim off the greens, leaving about 1/2 inch of stems. Boil these beets in plenty of water (and watch to make sure they don’t cook dry) until they are fork tender. Small beets probably need to be cooked 24-30 minutes, medium-sized ones will require 45-50 minutes.

Once the beets are fork tender, put them immediately into cold water to cool them down. Peel the outside skins off and trim off the rest of the stems. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Pack beets closely into ziplock bags. Put enough beets into a bag that when you lay it down and spread the beets out, they will be packed against each other in a single layer. Press as much air out of the bag and then seal. Freeze bags flat on a cookie sheet in the deep freeze. Once the bags are frozen, you can take them off the cookie sheet and stack however you need to stack them in the freezer.

To cook, thaw beets and cook them just enough to heat thoroughly. Remember, they’re already fork tender. Toss lightly with butter, salt and pepper. And enjoy that lovely vitamin A-rich veggie in the middle of the winter!

BK

24 thoughts on “Freezing Fresh Beets

  1. Thank you so much! This way worked out well as I’m just starting to experiment with freezing fresh, in season veggies and fruits.

  2. I’ve just discovered this great site while looking for info on freezing beets. The one thing I would like to add is that I find it much handier to use a pressure cooker to cook the beets. Thanks for a very informative website! Craig

  3. I’m looking forward to trying this out. this is my first time growing beets and boy are they yummy.look forward to enjoying them in the winter months. I’m going to parboil some and see how they do and taste. wish me luck!!

    • Monica, I have no idea about canning beets that haven’t been pickled. If you google the usda canning guidelines, you should find plenty of information out there. I’ve blanched and frozen beets in the past and had good success with that.
      Barb

    • You may can beets using the same directions given here, except pack them into canning jars, cover with water leaving 1 inch of head room. And 1/2 teaspoon salt per pint of beets if desired. Be sure to wipe the rim of the jars clean and remove air bubbles by running a knife around the inside of the jar before putting caps on. Process in a pressure canner. If you are processing at sea level up to 1000 feet, process 10 minutes. Above 1000 feet process 15 minutes. It is NOT safe to can beets in a water bath canner (though people did before pressure canners became available).

    • Thank you so much for the information. I have “huge” beets from the garden and have pickled some, shared some and want to freeze for future eating. Also love the quilts on your replies. I am a quilter and guess you are too or at lesst enjoy quilts.

      Mary

      • Hi Mary,
        Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love quilts too. It’s been a few years since I’ve actually done any quilting. It seems to be something that I do in certain seasons of my life. I have three trunks full of my favorite fabrics waiting for the next season to arrive! I’m delighted to hear that you have an abundance of beets. I would LOVE to have such abundance right now because of how much I love fresh beets!

        Barb

  4. Hi,

    love your blog. have you tried roasting and them freezing the beets? this is the only way family will eat beets and I have too much from the garden.

    thanks

    Clair

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  6. Thankyou for this information.simple and easy dirrections to follow.Okay so off to the garden I go,guess Ill be turning beet red today.I will be thinking of this sight every time we have beets this winter.

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  8. Your method works very well. I do; however, have a couple of suggestions that have worked well for me:
    Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Lightly spray the cleaned beats with cooking oil and place on the cookie sheet.
    Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours in a 400 degree oven, or until fork tender.
    Place on a cooling rack until the beets can be handled.
    Peel and dice into required size and spread in a single layer on as many baking cooking sheets as necessary and place in freeze until frozen hard.
    Quickly scoop of cookie sheets with a spatula into freezer bags and return to freeze.
    The two main advantages to this method are:
    1. There is hardly any bleeding of the beets from the process thereby leaving more color and flavor to the beets.
    2. This method of freezing allows you to remove as much as you like from the freezer for any given meal, whether it be for an individual serving or enough for company.

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