Beets are a delicious vegetable that can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted. But did you also know that you can freeze beets to use later? In fact there are different ways to freeze beets at home. However, roasting them before freezing is the best way to preserve their flavor and nutrients!
Beets: An Amazing Vegetable
As a garden favorite, beets always make an appearance in my spring raised beds. These cooler weather crops have some amazing health benefits that should encourage you to grow your own or at least buy fresh beets from your local farmer’s market.
Some health benefits of beets:
- Beets are low in calories, high in fiber and full of vitamins.
- They also contain an antioxidant called betalain, which is what gives beets their signature ruby color, that is believed to be anti inflammatory.
- This root vegetable helps the body detoxify itself by helping remove toxins from the liver through urination which can help prevent cancer cells from developing!
- Beets also contain essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Studies show beets may help lower blood pressure which is a key factor in preventing strokes and heart attacks.
- A medium sized beet has about 100 calories; be sure to use the leaves as well! Beet greens are high in iron, beta carotene (See my recipe for sautéd beet greens!)
Why Freeze Beets?
Good quality fresh beets can be a little tricky to find in the grocery store, though may be more available at farmer’s markets and smaller local grocers. But by freezing beets you will be able to enjoy their health benefits for several months after purchase!
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Try frozen beets in smoothies for all of those health benefits listed above. Frozen beets are also good for adding to salads or used in baked goods, such as my Double Chocolate Beet Muffins. (See recipes that use frozen beets at the bottom of this post.)
How to Freeze Beets
There are two different ways beets can be frozen: boiled and roasted. I prefer to roast my beets because I prefer the rich flavor the roasting brings out, but it is up to you!
Option One- How to Freeze Beets After Boiling
To freeze beets after boiling follow these simple steps below. The process will work for both red beets and golden beets.
- First, be sure to remove the beet greens and roots from the beets.
- Add the clean beets to boiling water and cook until fork tender (about 15 minutes, longer if beets are large). If you are freezing both red beets and golden beets, make note that their cooking times will vary slightly so each should be boiled separately if possible.
- Remove boiled beets from pot and set aside to cool.
- Once beets have cooled, use paper towels to remove the skins. (Wear gloves if you don’t want pink fingers.)
- Cut beets into uniform sizes that will be easy for you to grab in a hurry when preparing smoothies or side dishes.
- At this point, you can either place beets in freezer bags and freeze flat on a cookie sheet before transferring to your freezer for long-term storage, or beets can be pureed and placed in ice cube trays for adding to smoothies or using in muffins.
Option 2– How to Freeze Beets after Roasting
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash beets and place on square of foil. Drizzle beet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the beet in the foil by closing it tightly at the top. Place wrapped beets on a baking sheet.
- Roast beets on a sheet pan for 45 minutes to an hour or until fork tender.
- Place beets in the refrigerator overnight so they are cool enough to handle without burning your hands.
- Peel beets by pinching the skin away.
- Slice beets in half and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for freezing whole beets or slice beets into ¼ inch rounds to freeze, if desired.
- Place beets back in freezer until frozen completely solid. Transfer beets to airtight containers for storage in plastic bags or containers.
If you want to simply roast beets for using right away, check out my post on Easy Oven Roasted Beets!
Recipes that Use Frozen Beets
Now that you’ve frozen beets to use later, what will you actually do with them? No fear; I’ve got you covered! Here are some recipe ideas for those carefully frozen beets you worked so hard to put up!
- Double Chocolate Beet Muffins (whole grain option!)
- Immune Building Beet Smoothie
- Ina Garten’s Summer Borscht (Just defrost the beets and save the liquid!)
- Beet and Orange Salad with Mint (simply defrost the beets and discard the liquid!)