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!