Beets are a biennial root vegetable that’s nutritious, versatile, and full of antioxidants. They’re fairly easy to store, especially in the refrigerator. Properly stored beets can last for weeks or even months.
EditSelecting Beets to Store
- Pick beets with fresh, unwilted greens. If you want to store beets and keep them fresh, you need to make sure you’re picking fresh ones in the first place. The leaves attached to the beetroot are the best indicator of freshness. If the greens on a beet are wilted, the beetroot is probably not very fresh, so pick another one instead.
- If you’re picking your own beets from a garden, you can wait until well into the cold season, even after the first frost, but your beets should be picked before the temperature goes down to at night. Put them somewhere cold immediately, rather than leaving them in the sun.
- Avoid beets with obvious blemishes. Your beets should have unblemished skin. Look for a dark maroon colour, unless you’re picking a different variety of beets, such as the golden ones. The tail at the bottom should be intact.
- Pick beets that are firm to the touch. Softness is a sign that beets are spoiling, so pick ones that are firm. If you already have beets and find they’re soft, it’s best to throw them away.
EditPreparing the Beets for Storage
- Trim the leaves and stem. Since leaves draw moisture from the root, removing them immediately will help to keep your beets fresh longer. So before storing your beets, you should trim them, leaving about of stem at the top of the root. Don’t trim the tail.
- Rub the dirt off the roots. Beets grow in the ground, and when they’re harvested they’re covered in dirt. They need to be cleaned, but not by washing, which makes them rot faster. Instead, gently rub the dirt off the root.
- If you do wash your beets at this point, make sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them.
- Keep the beets raw and dry. Again, moisture contributes to rotting, so you should keep your beets dry if you want them to last a while. You should also store them raw, since cooked beets won’t last nearly as long.
EditStoring Beets in a Cold, Damp Place
- Put the beets in a perforated plastic bag. Keeping your beets in a plastic bag will prevent them from becoming soft, dry, and wrinkled in the fridge. It’s best to cut small holes in the bag so that it doesn’t trap in moisture.
- Place the beets in crisper drawer. The crisper in the refrigerator is the best place to keep beets fresh, along with your other vegetables. But if they won’t fit in the crisper, a shelf in the fridge will work.
- Check periodically that the beets are still firm to the touch. Beets will become soft if you store them too long or don’t do it properly. Check your beets periodically to make sure they’re still firm and haven’t spoiled.
- If they’re stored properly, your beets should last between 1 and 3 months in the fridge. But it’s still best to check them from time to time to make sure they haven’t gone soft.
- Store your beets in a root cellar if you can’t use the fridge. While storing beets in the fridge is easy and effective, you can also store them in a root cellar, or anywhere else that’s cold and moist. In this case, keep your beets inside a plastic container or cooler.
- You can even pack the beets in peat moss, sand, or sawdust to help keep them fresh. The temperature where you’re storing your beets should be and the humidity should be high (about 95%).
- Beets can also be stored frozen, but in this case they should be cooked first so they don’t get soft. Frozen beets can last up to about 10 months.
EditSources and Citations
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