Have you purchased a few too many beets and are unsure of the warning signs of rotting beets? Or perhaps you’ve already had your beets in storage for a week or so and are curious how long they keep. You’re not the only one who overspends when they see a great deal at the farmer’s market, so don’t panic.
You can learn everything you need about beet deterioration and shelf life here. Learn how to determine whether cooked or fresh beets are safe to eat and how long they last.
What are Beets?
Round root vegetables, beetroot or beets, have vibrant green leaves and long crimson stalks. The beet plant’s fruit grows underground behind the leaves, and the stems emerge from the ground to form the tap root, which is known as a beet. Larger beets can reach a diameter of a softball, while smaller ones can reach a diameter of two inches.
Before expanding to the rest of Europe and the Americas, beet cultivation began in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region for its therapeutic benefits and coloring wine. Beets are a common side dish and a staple of menus in restaurants nowadays. Beets are a delicious and nutritious vegetable with various hues, including purple, red, and gold; candy cane beets contain swirls of both pink and white.
How Long do Cooked Beets Last?
Only 3 to 4 days are allowed for cooked beets and any beet-based foods to age in the refrigerator. After allowing them to cool for 30 to 60 minutes, place them in a bowl or pot with a lid, a resealable container, or the refrigerator.
Think about freezing the dish if you require longer than 3 to 4 days. While freezing any beet salad would likely be disastrous (in terms of quality), foods like beet patties or roasted beets could freeze without issue.
How are Cooked Beets Stored?
Once cooked beets have cooled to around room temperature, they should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered saucepan. They can be kept in this manner for three to four days.
Make sure the cooling procedure lasts longer than two hours, as normal. Most of the time, 30 to 60 minutes should be more than enough.
Anything you can seal is a possibility as a location for the beets. Although freezer bags, lidded pots, bowls, and containers for meal preparation all work, airtight containers are the obvious choice.
If those 3 to 4 days are insufficient for you, you can consider freezing cooked beets or other leftovers.
Obviously, not all beet recipes are created equal, and some (such as roasted or patties) freeze better than others (a dressed salad, for instance).
How to Freeze Beets?
Pick sensitive, young, bright red beets that are firm but not soft. Then divide them into two piles according to size: one for little beets and one for medium. Cooking times vary depending on the size. Save time by selecting beets roughly the same size if you buy them rather than growing them yourself. You’ll be able to cook them all at once if you do this.
Each beet’s top leaves should be removed by trimming them off by about a half-inch. Set these leaves aside because they are tasty. Leave a portion of the top and the roots intact for now; doing so will stop the beets from bleeding when cooked.
Scrub the beets thoroughly to get rid of any dirt.
Then, put the beets in a pot, cover them with water, and boil them. Beets should be cooked for 25 to 30 minutes for small ones and 45 to 50 minutes for large ones. When a fork can puncture your beets easily, they are finished.
To stop the cooking, place your cooked beets in an ice-water bath. Give them some time to sit there so they can have a chance to cool off.
Peel the peels from your beets after they are cold enough to handle (they should slide right off). After that, remove the remaining tips and roots.
The beets should be chopped or sliced, spread out on a baking sheet, and quickly frozen. The beets won’t freeze in clumps as a result of this.
Put your beets in freezer bags after they have completely frozen, then put the bags back in the freezer. Although they can be stored indefinitely, it is better to use them within a year. Beets contain a lot of water, so you might want to think about vacuum-sealing them. Try eliminating all the extra air from your container if you don’t have a vacuum sealer. It will lessen the risk of freezer burn.
How to Thaw Frozen Beets and Using them in Recipes?
Simply place frozen beats in the refrigerator for a few hours to thaw them. Thaw them out overnight if you need a lot.
Serve them immediately in a salad or other dish after they have thawed. They don’t require reheating. There is no need to defrost them first if you plan to cook them. They can be cooked while still frozen and then added to the saucepan.
Beets that have been frozen can be used in the same ways as fresh ones. Here are some delectable recipes for you to enjoy with this healthy vegetable.
Enjoy them as a straightforward side dish, add them to a salad with leafy greens and plenty of goat cheese, pickle them with onions, or blend them with loads of berries to create nutritious smoothies.
What are the Different Varieties of Beets?
The thick taproot of a beet plant is known as a beet, often known as a beetroot. The four most popular varieties come in a variety of hues and sizes and include:
The most widespread beet varieties are red beets. They make a fine mess when newly cut as their dark red and purple liquids flow out. Of course, this contributes to their distinctiveness and beauty as veggies.
As they ripen, their earthy flavor becomes slightly sweeter. Red beets are frequently used in salads, pickled, and soups like borscht.
Red beets are sweeter than golden beets, although not by much. They are smaller than the big red beets and have a beautiful yellow tint.
Beets with pink and white rings are called candy cane or Chioggia beets. For their distinctive appearance, keep them uncooked. The color effect may disappear after cooking.
Baby beets are any beets pulled from the ground so that other, larger beets can grow in their place. They are often served with their greens and are delicate.
To produce beet crisps, beets can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or even fried. They can be used in baking and sorbet and served raw in salads, juices, and smoothies. You can juice, purée, slice, chop, or grate beets.
How to Recognize Bad Beets?
Before you buy or even prepare your beets, it’s a good idea to search for symptoms that they have gone rotten.
Beets smell distinctly “earthy” when they’re still fresh. An earthy smell can be recognized if you’ve ever smelled beets, even though it’s difficult to describe. Beets may not always smell rotten when they go bad, but you will still notice an unpleasant odor. Trust your instincts and your amazing sense of smell.
Put them in the trash if the smell is too overpowering. Although judging freshness by smell can be challenging, it can also be sufficient in specific circumstances.
One needs to get used to the clean, earthy smell. Even if beets don’t always smell rotten at their worst, a terrible scent should be enough to dispose of the beet.
People often advise cutting off the moldy portions of fruits and vegetables and using the remaining produce. The issue with this is that the fungus disseminated toxins throughout the entire beet, not just the visible portions.
There is always a discussion regarding meals that have gotten a little moldy. In this situation, throwing away the entire beet would be wise. The fungus doesn’t just impact the visible surface.
The spores and poisons are typically dispersed throughout your veggie when you see them.
Beets that are still young are quite firm, but if you notice that they are wrinkled, check for bruising. Because they don’t have enough moisture, beets can wrinkle.
It’s time to discard the beets if you see that their coat has grown mushy. Like carrots, beets are particularly solid when they are young. Since both beets and carrots are root veggies, I like to compare them.
Fresh carrots are firm when they are young; something is wrong when they start to wrinkle. Also, look for bruises.
While a lack of moisture may cause some wrinkling, another may indicate poor health. Throw them out if they are wrinkled.
Although fresh beets should be as solid as a tennis ball, beets may have a mushy exterior. The beet has probably gone bad if it is as soft as a tomato.
Taste Occasionally, people experience the misfortune of a beet going bad too soon. One would suppose it has to do with how they kept the beets.
Test it by taking the bad one out of the fridge after a few days and chewing on it. It’s terrible if the flavor lacks the sweetness and mellowness a nice beet should have and is too harsh and dry.
What are the Side Effects of Consuming Beets?
Lowers Blood Pressure
By increasing the number of nitrates converted into nitric oxide, a gaseous molecule that widens the smooth muscles of blood arteries, beets are known to aid in the movement of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Exercise and a plant-based diet are ideal options for those desiring increased vasodilation. These lifestyle choices are especially beneficial for people at risk for diseases linked to a sinful lifestyle due to being overweight and having trouble managing their stress.
Mid Allergic Reactions
Even though beetroot sensitization hasn’t been demonstrated, uncommon minor reactions to beetroot ingestion may cause irritation or a rash. Even if eating beetroot regularly is healthy, roughly 2 cups of beets could give you the energy you need to go through the day. Naturally, the recommended daily value varies according to things like age, weight, and height.
Oxalates may Hinder the Absorption of Calcium.
Oxalates, also known as oxalic acid, are included in many nutritious foods such as beet greens, chocolate, green tea, beans, and red wine. They are also known to impede the absorption of calcium. Oxalates achieve this by attaching to the mineral and hindering the body’s ability to absorb it. Even though beets only have a modest quantity of calcium, the advantages significantly outweigh the dangers of getting less calcium.
Reference: The Good & The Not-So-Good Truth About Beets
Like other high-fiber vegetables, beets can have negative effects, including gas, bloating, and stomach pain if you suddenly start eating a lot. In my experience, this is typically manageable by adopting a more moderate stance: gradually increasing the number of beets you consume. Additionally, it would be best if you didn’t consume beet leaves or whole beets daily. Beets contain relatively high levels of oxalates, a form of anti-nutrient that can remove other nutrients from your digestive system. Those oxalates can also help cause kidney stones when combined with a poor diet and lifestyle. Eat a nutrient-dense, whole-foods diet otherwise, and give your body time to process and remove
Cooked beets are a great addition to any diet. They have a sweet, earthy flavor that is perfect for various dishes. Beets can be stored for up to eight months in the freezer. This makes them ideal for those who want to add them to their diet without wasting them. You can also store shredded beets in the freezer.
Before you freeze your beets, make sure they are completely cooled. This helps them to be less likely to stick together. If you do not plan on using the beets immediately, they can be placed in an ice bath to cool.