Canning and freezing are dependable methods for preserving beets, allowing you to enjoy this nutrient-packed root vegetable all year long. Frozen beets retain all of the earthy flavor; you can also pickle beets in vinegar or can them simply with salt and water. Roasting the beets first concentrates the flavor and softens them, making them easier to work with for preserving. You can follow the same roasting process for both canning and freezing.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the beets, using your hands to scrub off any excess dirt. Cut the greens and roots off the beets if necessary, leaving just the bulbous vegetable. Wait until after roasting to peel the beets, when the skins will easily slip off.
Put the beets in a baking dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water, or just enough to cover the bottom of the dish and provide some moisture, which keeps the beets flavorful and helps preserve their color.
Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the preheated oven. Roast the beets for at least 45 minutes or up to an hour. Test for doneness with a small knife -- it should slip right into the thickest part of the beet.
Take the dish out of the oven and allow the beets to cool before handling them. Slice a thin layer off the top and bottom of each beet and remove the peel with your fingers or a small knife.
Freeze or can beets as desired immediately after you roast and peel them.
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Beets
- The Roasted Vegetable; Andrea Chesman
- Wear kitchen gloves to keep the beet color off your hands.
- You can drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the beets for extra flavor before you freeze or can them without a pickling recipe.
- Save the greens and use them in a fresh salad.
Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.