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5 Ways to Preserve Beets

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Beets are a favorite garden crop around here. We love to eat them roasted when they’re fresh but they’re also one of our favorite vegetables to preserve as well. Save some for yourself by using one of or more of these 5 ways to preserve beets.

A collage of photos including one of fresh beets and another of pickled beets in a jar with text overlay.

How to Peel Beets

Beets are one of the few vegetables I peel, thankfully it’s an easy process.

Trim the beets, leaving 1 inch of the leaf stems and 1 inch of the root attached. This prevents too much bleeding. Put the beets into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse under cool water. Cool just enough to handle. The skins should slip right off with a simple push of the fingers, if they don’t boil for a bit longer.

Save the greens – they can be eaten fresh or preserved too.

1. Pressure Canned

This is the way we preserve beets most of the time. It makes for a quick and easy side dish, mixes well into soups, and purees easily for desserts even.

Beets need to be hot packed. Once the beets are peeled, chop and pack into jars. The beets should still be warm from the boiling.

If they got cold, simply put into a pot and bring to a boil Then pack into jars, topping off with more boiling water. Leave 1 inch of headspace. Process pints for 30 minutes, quarts for 35 at the correct pounds of pressure for your elevation.

A time saving tip – peel and chop the beets one day. Store in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, put the beets into a pot and cover with fresh water.

Fresh Beets on a table.

Bring to a boil and then pack jars and proceed with canning. This can help break up a big task over a couple of days and keep it from becoming overwhelming. 

2. Dehydrating

Cook beets until they’re tender in boiling water, 30-45 minutes depending on size. Peel and slice thin. Dry in a dehydrator until brittle. Store in airtight jars.

Don’t forget about the beet greens – dehydrate them, too. Then add the dehydrated greens as a powder to smoothies and soups for a nutritious hit. 

3. Freezing

Cook whole beets in boiling water until completely cooked. Peel and freeze whole or chopped.

Again, don’t forget about the greens! Blanch those greens and then freeze to add to soups, smoothies, and more later. 

4. Root Cellaring

Leave 2″ of the stems attached but remove the greens. Do not wash. Pack the beets into straw or moist sand and store in a spot with high humidity.

5. Pickled

Pickling beets allows them to be canned in a water bath canner. These can be a mighty tasty addition to salads and make for a great aide dish. A few recipe ideas include:

A jar of pickled beets with fresh garlic cloves on the table.

A version with honey and apple cider vinegar

Another white vinegar and lots of spice

Be sure to make the most of the humble vegetables this year and preserve beets for nutritious eating all year long.

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Carla

Friday 16th of October 2020

Can you hot water bath your beet root jam, as in berry jams, or does it have to be pressure canned.

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

I would look for a tested and approved recipe. You like can water bath a beetroot jam but it's going to need a significant amount of added acid (like vinegar and/or sugar) to make it safe.

Arie Scholten

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

They are wonderful cut in your french fry cutter. Then freeze and use in salads with cranberries and walnuts. Raspberry walnut dressing anyone?

Sheilagh

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

To be sure, can I peel and dice, then boil before freezing? It takes longer for while beets to cook, and intend to dice them to freeze anyway. This just means I’m not playing with ice baths to peel, just to stop the cooking process

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 29th of August 2019

I can't see why not.

Linda Rogers

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

if you don't like to bol you can microwave covered for about 20 min. than peel it keeps from loosing vit. to the boiling method

Eric

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Rather than boiling to remove the skin, can I peel and dice in to cubes, then boil cubes for a 5-10 min to heat them, and pressure can like that? I hate the boil and slip the skins off methods :(

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Sadly no. The peels must be removed prior to canning (this is true for all root veggies - the chance for botulism is high).

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