Wondering if you should grow beets or buy some more to store at home?
Beets are a type of root vegetables with an earthy, sweet, and somewhat bitter taste, but they can bring flavor to a dish if you keep them in good quality.
How to store beets? To properly store fresh beets, cut off the beet greens for consumption in a few days. Store the fresh beets in perforated plastic bags inside the crisper drawer of your fridge. Only freeze beets after blanching because freezing can ruin the consistency of a freshly-harvested beet.
What is the best way to store fresh beets?
The best way to store fresh beets is in a cool, dark, and damp place.
Beets do not like too much moisture that can cause them to rot at a faster pace.
They like a damp area that can keep them hydrated for long-lasting storage.
Your fridge’s crisper drawer or a woven basket in the cellar can hold your fresh beets and keep them fresh for a few months.
Should you wash beets before storing?
Newly harvested beets are covered in dirt and soil.
Beets need to be cleaned, but we do not recommend washing them if you want to keep them in long term storage.
Leaving wet beets clumped up together in storage makes them go bad faster.
The best way to clean your beets before storage is by gently rubbing off the soil and dirt from the roots.
Most likely, the beets you get from a grocery store have already been washed by the distributors.
Still, the difference is that they have storage practices that keep the beets dry and fresh.
If you wash your beets before any form of storage, use a towel to dry them thoroughly.
This way, they could be clean and less prone to rotting.
Different Ways of How to Store Beets
Fresh and cooked beets have different requirements for storage. These storage practices can help keep the beet retain its current state.
Here are different ways for storing beets the right way:
You may be living in a small apartment, which probably doesn’t have a root cellar.
A small living space would also entail that your fridge does not have enough space for all of the root vegetables you want to store.
You can store fresh beets in a pantry or any cool room.
Keep them spread out on newspapers under any cabinet, or cover them with damp sand inside small boxes.
The shelf life of correctly stored beets at room temperature can be as long as four months.
If you live in a larger house, the basement or a root cellar can keep optimal temperatures to store fresh beets.
Beets do not like heat, and they comfortably stay fresh in temperatures ranging from zero to six degrees Celsius.
A root cellar can maintain the freshness of your beets both in summer and in winter.
Its underground location keeps the beets away from the summer heat, and the surrounding groundcover blocks the winter cold.
The fridge has been a very reliable invention ever since manufacturers produced the first automatic control refrigerators.
Refrigerators can store food items at more specific temperatures assigned for different levels within. The crisper drawer is the best option for most root vegetables.
The only factor in deciding how to store beets in the fridge is their current state. Is it fresh? Did you slice or cook it?
Before storing the beets, remove the beet greens for salads, sautés, and stir-fries but leave a few inches of the stems on the roots.
Store fresh beets in the crisper drawer of your fridge using punctured or perforated plastic bags.
The holes allow moisture to escape or enter the bag to keep the beets hydrated, but not too much that it’ll cause rotting.
Moreover, add a few peat moss layers into the bag if you have access to any to help regulate the moisture levels.
You can store sliced, peeled, or cooked beets in plastic bags and put them in the fridge, but do your best to consume them immediately.
A sliced beet in a bag and the fridge can only last a day or two, but fresh beets can last much longer.
Likewise, you can keep beet greens fresh in long term storage using a sealable plastic bag.
Do not cut holes into the bag; with beet greens, you will want to keep the moisture.
Wash the beet greens and let them dry or shake off the excess water.
Wrap them in kitchen towels and seal them inside the bags before storing them in the crisper drawer.
For short-term storage of sliced beets, use a lidded plastic container and keep it on the lowest shelf in your fridge.
Avoid using enclosed containers for raw, fresh beets; it could trap moisture, which can cause the root vegetables to rot faster.
You can also keep sliced and cooked beets in the fridge by making pickled beets and storing them in a canning jar.
To do this, take sliced beets and put them in a pot filled with water. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat.
Let the sliced beets simmer until they become soft while adding your spices, sugar, and acid (vinegar).
Let the whole pot cool down a bit before spooning the beets into canning jars.
Spoon enough of the liquid to cover all of the beets completely but leave at least a quarter-inch headroom before securing the lid.
Use sterile jars to ensure a longer shelf life for the pickled beets.
If you plan on pickling beets anyway, you don’t have to peel and cut the beets before boiling. The peel comes off easily after boiling them whole.
The only downside for this method is that you will have to drain the water, pop each off the peels, slice, and prepare a different canning liquid mixture.
Raw and unpeeled fresh beets break down and lose their consistency if you store them in the freezer.
Always cook the root vegetables in boiling water before storing them in the freezer.
After washing the beets, cut half an inch off the top to remove the stem.
Transfer them to a stockpot filled with boiling water and then add a generous amount of salt.
Prepare an ice bath while cooking the beets until they are soft.
When you are satisfied with the texture, transfer the beets into the ice bath. Notice how the peels quickly come off, allowing you to slice and dice with ease.
Choose a sealable plastic bag for freezing so that you can remove excess air.
Frozen beets cooked beforehand can keep their quality in the freezer for up to one year.
How long do beets last in fridge?
Sliced and cooked beets can last for up to 10 days in the fridge.
If you store fresh beets correctly, they can keep their quality in the fridge for up to four months.
This storage option can emulate the ideal conditions of storing at room temperature in a basement or a root cellar.
You can now have a steady supply of fresh beets and beet greens by getting more from the grocery store and storing them properly in several ways.
If you grow beets, you don’t have to worry about having too much to harvest.
Keeping them in your root cellar or inside a box with damp sand somewhere in your home should do the trick.