Beets are a type of root vegetable that grows in cool temperatures, especially the fall and spring. Although canned beets are available in grocery stores all year long, they don't have the same freshness and sweet taste of in-season beets. If you want to enjoy fresh, unprocessed beets any time of the year, you can freeze them. Beets keep most of their texture and taste if you prepare them correctly beforehand and use the correct freezer preservation technique.
Things You'll Need
1 to 2 lbs. fresh beets
Plastic or nylon scrubbing brush
Gallon-sized plastic freezer bag
Place 1 to 2 lbs. of fresh beets underneath cold running water. Clean the outsides of the beets with a plastic or nylon scrubbing brush to loosen any dirt, then thoroughly rinse them. Pat them dry with a clean paper towel.
Lay the beets on a cutting board. Slice off the tops of the green leafy stems horizontally, making sure to leave about 1/2 inch of the stem intact. If the beets are different sizes, separate them into piles of small beets and medium to large beets because they will have different heating times.
Fill a large pot with approximately 3 cups of water and set your stove to high. Heat the water until it starts to boil, then gently place the medium to large beets into the boiling water. Let them heat for 20 minutes, then add the small beets.
Boil all of the beets together for about 25 minutes, or until they are softened. Fill a large bowl with cold water, then transfer the boiled beets directly into the water so that they can immediately cool down and stop cooking. The sudden chill will also preserve the beets' rich color.
Remove the beets from the cold water once they are completely chilled. Drag a vegetable peeler lightly across the beets to remove the skin, then slice off the stem. Chop the beets into uniform-sized chunks about 1/2 inch wide.
Transfer the beet chunks into the bottom of a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out all of the excess air from the bag, then close it tightly. Store the beets in the freezer for no longer than six months for the best flavor and texture.
Thaw the frozen beet pieces and roast them in the oven until they are tender. The high heat will melt the beets’ natural sugars and make them taste even sweeter and more flavorful.
Do not skip the cold water bath, and transfer the beets to the freezing while they are warm, because the drastic change in temperature will cause the beets to freeze unevenly.