How to Store Fresh Beets to Keep Them Fresh for Longer

Get the most out of these sweet, earthy root vegetables with proper storage.

bowl of fresh beets
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Whether you're pickling them for a salad, roasting them for a hummus, or even boiling them to create fresh pasta, beets are a wonderfully sweet, earthy, and colorful addition to many beloved dishes. The vibrantly colored root vegetable also has an impressive shelf life, lasting up to a whopping two months.

But the quality of your beets is only as good as the knowledge you have to maintain their freshness. To avoid dreaded mushiness, here are a few quick tips on how to store beets and ensure they live up to their fullest potential.

How to Select Beets

When shopping for beets, you'll first want to peruse your supermarket's produce section or the farmer's market and find a root that is free of nicks, scrapes, and bruises. The smaller the vegetable, the more tender it will be (though, you may prefer a beet that is a bit more sturdy). The most common variety of beet in grocery stores are purple beets (also called red beets); be sure to also select beets with the deepest hue of purple.

If you find beets with wilted leaves, chances are likely that they're already on the fast track to spoiling. Avoid these.

How to Store Beets

Should your beets still have greens attached, remove them immediately. These leaves only last a few days and can accelerate the spoiling process for the entire bulb. That said, be sure to save them — they're completely edible and taste like a sweeter Swiss chard. A simple way to prepare beet greens is to saute them in a skillet with salt and olive oil, adding in any other aromatic ingredients like red onion, garlic, and seasonings to your liking.

pile of fresh beets
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Once any greens have been removed and separated, you get to decide how to store the beets. For whole beets, an airtight, lidded container or zip-top plastic bag are both great storage vessels to maximize freshness. The most ideal way to store cut beets is to lay slices or cubes in a single layer on paper towels in an airtight, lidded container. You can build a second (and even third) on top of the first with additional paper towels if your container is large enough. Whether whole or cut, be sure to place the beets in a crisper drawer in order to allow them to maintain their own humidity.

Do not rinse your whole beets before storing, as the excess moisture can cause them to become squishy.

How to Freeze Beets

You can safely freeze raw beets, though they will likely take on a grainy texture upon thawing. Slicing or dicing helps to prevent extreme texture changes, but ideally, you'll cook your beets prior to tossing them in the freezer. Cooked beets withstand the freezing and thawing process much better than raw.

Simply boil however many roots you'd like, unpeeled, until they are fork-tender. This should take 20-40 minutes at a gentle boil, depending on the size of the beets.Remove the beets from the water and allow them to cool. Immediately peel and chop the beets into slices or cubes (smaller beets can remain whole if you prefer).

slicing beets on a cutting board
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It is always best to tray-freeze most fresh fruits and vegetables overnight as a first step towards longer-term freezer storage. Spread the cut beet pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, place the sheet pan into the freezer, and allow the beets to freeze for 6-8 hours. Once frozen, you can then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag to conserve precious freezer space. Be sure to label the container or bag with the date and plan to consume your frozen beets within a year.

How to Use Beets

Feel like you've finally mastered beet storage? Check out some of our favorite beet recipes so that you can incorporate them into meals year-round.

beet soup in a while mug bowl

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: This is a clever way to utilize the aforementioned greens with the vegetables they were once attached to. Serve it as a side dish with practically any protein for a sweet and slightly bitter departure from your standard cooked spinach.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese: We constantly crave this classic preparation with tangy goat cheese to cut the sweetness. It's a salad that shines, no matter the season, with its harmonious balance of flavors.

Chocolate Beet Muffins: The sugar in beets lends itself flawlessly to desserts, providing an almost umami-like flavor that enhances the depth of ingredients like chocolate. Frankly, anything tastes good with chocolate, but we'll still credit the root for this one.

Roasted Beet and Potato Soup: Puree away! A soup makes sense when it comes to beets, especially with those you've just defrosted from the freezer. Serve this with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche for an even more decadent, creamy experience.

Beet Hummus: The hot pink app will have everyone talking at your next soiree — and for all the right reasons. Place this next to a bottle of rosé to keep things ultra-thematic.


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