Whether you’re growing veggies in your garden and had a good batch, or simply like beets so much that you’ve bought too many again, don’t worry, you can easily and safely prolong their fridge life if you freeze them.
And yes, you can also freeze beets and there are quite a few reasons why it is a good idea. They not only respond well to cool temperatures, but they also retain their original texture and preserve their taste after being frozen for months.
Today, I aim to help you learn how to freeze different kinds of beets, so without any further ado, let’s begin:
What Happens if You Freeze Beets?
Generally speaking, if your beets are free from air, freezer burns, and excess moisture, you shouldn’t expect anything negative to happen to them. There are several factors that determine what happens when beets are frozen, including their size, dryness, and the quality of the container (which is why I recommend airtight containers or freezer bags).
If frozen properly and removed from the freezer within the recommended time, your beets will have almost the same texture and nearly identical taste to what they had prior to freezing.
How to Freeze Beets
There are multiple ways to prep your beets for the freezer, and I’ll recommend the one that I find most practical. Essentially, the whole process revolves around cooking the beets, cutting their leaves, slicing them, and packing them in airtight containers or freezer bags.
Let’s break the process down:
Step 1: Cook Your Beets
If you haven’t cooked them already, do so. They don’t freeze too well when raw since their texture will turn a bit mealy. I recommend sorting them by size in advance, as larger beets require more cooking. Smaller ones rarely need more than half an hour, while larger beets can take up to an hour.
Step 2: Dry the Beets
You can use any rag or towel for as long as it is clean and dry. Your beets need to be completely dried before entering the freezer to prevent them from expanding and ice crystals from forming.
Step 3: Slice the Beets
While many consider this optional, I think beets freeze much better if sliced up in smaller bits. This way, your beets will freeze and thaw faster too.
Step 4: Place your Beets in a Freezer-friendly Container of Choice
Basically, freezer bags are great for this occasion. They prevent freezer burn and will save you a good bit of freezer storage space. Alternatively, you can use airtight containers if you have a more spacious freezer. They are more practical for freezing bulks of beets, but they aren’t as flexible and will occupy more space as well.
Step 5: Label the Containers and Put the Beets in the Freezer
Once you’ve prepared and packed your beets in containers, it’s time to mark them and place them in the freezer. By putting a label on the package, you’ll have a convenient reminder for when you need to remove it.
Tip: If you’re using an old freezer model that can’t ensure consistent freezing, place the packages at the back.
How Long Can You Freeze Beets?
Depending on the factors I just mentioned, you can freeze beets between eight and twelve months. If you’ve dried and sliced them before placing them in high-quality airtight containers, they can last a full year in the freezer. Larger chunks that were put in budget freezer bags moments after being cooked can endure only half the time.
This might also be interesting for you: Can you freeze cooked vegetables?
How To Defrost Beets?
Thawing most root vegetables is a similar process. There are several ways you can go about it, although I recommend fridge thawing whenever you can spare the time; otherwise, microwave thawing is a good option, especially if you’re having beet-loving guests over in an hour.
Beets can be defrosted by:
In my opinion, this is the best way to thaw frozen beets. They’ll defrost naturally if placed in a bowl and left in a fridge overnight. Make space on your fridge’s bottom shelf and keep checking the bowl, as it will fill with water (from the melting ice).
Without removing the beets from the freezer, pull the bowl out to empty it and insert the beets into it again.
I generally am not too big of a fan of microwave thawing, simply because it’s not as healthy as the alternatives. However, the benefits it offers are unquestionable.
Thawing root veggies in a microwave can be done in under an hour, in comparison to a full day of fridge thawing. You can also control the process by adjusting temperature, stopping, resuming, and utilizing different effects on more modern microwaves.
Thawing at Room Temperature
The middle road between slow fridge-thawing and quick microwave-thawing. You can defrost your beets at room temperature when your fridge is full, and you don’t really need to thaw them immediately.
Again, place them in a bowl of cold water, refill the bowl whenever the water becomes too cold, and repeat the process until the beets are as soft as before. The main benefit of this approach is that you can simply put the beets back to defrosting bowl if they haven’t fully thawed the first time.
Can You Refreeze Beets?
Root vegetables rely on their roots to provide them with the moisture they need. If you’ve sliced your beets in pieces, they won’t have that source of moisture and should be consumed upon thawing within the next two days.
If you don’t eat your thawed beets on the same day, put them in the fridge and use them that or the following day.
Freezing Different Types of Beets
You can freeze pretty much all variants of beets, no matter how they’ve been prepared or processed. You may need to use different freezer-friendly containers, and the time they can spend in the freezer may vary. Let’s take a closer look:
Can You Freeze Canned Beets?
Yes, canned beets can be frozen, but they don’t freeze as well as cooked beets. Remove them from the freezer in two months, and they’ll taste the same and have a largely similar texture.
Can You Freeze Grated Raw Beetroot?
Yes, using the same steps provided above. Using freezer bags instead of airtight containers is recommended for grated raw beetroot, though.
Can you Freeze Roasted Beets?
Yes, roasted beets can be frozen in the same way as cooked beets and can endure between ten and twelve months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Pickled Beets?
Yes, preferably in big mason jars. They can last a full year in your freezer.
Can You Freeze Beet Chips?
You can, but they may not be as crunchy. Personally, I avoid freezing beet chips when I don’t have an entire shelf in my freezer to dedicate to them. They can last in the freezer between six and eight months.
What to Do with Beets That Have Been Frozen?
You can build a dish around beets being either the main ingredient or a topping. These are my favorite simple beet recipes if you want to give them a try:
- Beets & Nuts – these two go remarkably well together due to their crunchy texture. Use all parts of your beets and chop them up (or use slices, if you’ve prepared the beets that way). Sprinkle raisins, walnuts, and nuts in a bowl and season with olive oil.
- Beet Rice – If you’ve sliced your beets in thin slices, chop them on tiny, even pieces. Cook some rice and mix them with beets. For added flavor, slice some carrots and add two boiled eggs to the plate.
- Vegan Beet Breakfast – Place your beets in a blender and wait for them to dry for an hour. Ground them to a fine powder with mortar and pestle, and add your favorite greens for a hearty breakfast.
- Beet Smoothie – The recipe is almost the same as Vegan Beet Breakfast, with a few differences. Add beets, carrots, a bit of citrus, and one of your favorite fruits. You can sprinkle the mix with a sweetened protein powder for a good bump of energy.
- Beet Power Lunch – Place your sliced beets on a plate and sprinkle them with beans, chopped onions, and melted cheese. Top the dish with squeezed lemons and decorate with leafy greens.
- Beet Salad with Feta – A simple yet tasty salad with arugula, beet slices and garnished with crumbled feta cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be wondering whether beet juice can be frozen or is it any good when blended into a smoothie. If so and you want to learn more, let’s address the most frequently asked questions about frozen beets:
Can You Freeze Raw Beets for Juicing?
Yes, but don’t cut the root. Beet’s root provides them with moisture, and cutting it off will make your beets unsuitable for juicing.
Can You Freeze Beets for Smoothies?
They’re perfect for smoothies. One of my favorite recipes is using freshly thawed beets for a vegan smoothie with fresh carrots and lime.
Can You Freeze Beet Juice?
You can, but there’s a chance it won’t taste the same. Beet juice can become mushy if frozen for more than six months. Freeze in ice-cube trays for best effects.
Beets, just like most root veggies, are perfect for freezing. With the process being so simple, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. Feel free to experiment with different beet recipes after you thaw them, or use some of the ones I’ve provided until you feel more creative.
You can freeze fresh, raw, and cooked beets; beet juice and chips freeze well too. What do you like more, starting off your day with a beet shake, or by sipping some beet juice? Feel free to share your favorite beet recipes in the comments below, and check out my other guides.