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Beets grow as a dense root vegetable used in soups, side dishes or as an ingredient in cooked dishes. Blanching the beets in boiling water tenderizes them so they are suitable for serving or freezer storage. Most vegetables only require a few minutes of blanching, but beets require a longer period to properly tenderize them and render them edible. The process requires cooking in boiling water followed by a cold water soak to cool them down and stop the cooking process.
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Wash the beets in cool water. Scrub lightly with a vegetable brush to remove any soil stuck to the beets.
Trim the stem off each beet, leaving 1 inch attached. Sort the beets into two piles, one for small and one for large beets.
Bring a pot of water to a full boil. Add the beets to the boiling water.
Boil small beets for 20 minutes and large beets for 40 minutes.
Drain the beets in a colander immediately at the end of the boiling time. Pour cold water over the beets to cool them down to room temperature quickly.
Slice or cube the beets after they are blanched. The tender blanched beets are easier to cut.
Freeze the beets after blanching, if desired. Pack them into storage bags or containers and store in the freezer for up to a year.