Freezing Beet Greens

beet-greens
As you can see from the date on the plastic bag, this post is a bit late in the offing, but I wanted to share it in case you’re still bringing in beets by the bucketload. Young beet greens—especially from yellow beets—are just as delicious as chard and can be used pretty much interchangeably, so long as you don’t mind some extra pink stains here and there. The key to making beets last in your refrigerator is to cut the tops off, just about an inch above the roots, as soon as you bring them home. Then either cook or freeze the tops immediately, because they won’t keep.

You freeze beet greens just like you freeze turnip greens (or pretty much any kind of green, for that matter). Just clean them, cut off the stems (or keep them, if you like), blanch them in boiling water for about 1–2 minutes, then drain and chill in an ice bath. Transfer to freezer bags. Done! If you’re careful, you can cut back the beet tops several times through the growing season without affecting the size of the root. Mmmmm. More greens. Just freeze them now, and I promise—really and truly!—that you’ll love them this winter in soups, stews, and casseroles.

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8 comments to Freezing Beet Greens

  • Preserving things is always hard work these included. But when you use or need them you are so glad. It’s the ant and grasshopper story.

  • Karin Holloway

    I’m looking forward to using them in beet soup this winter as I can buy beets in stores but not any beet tops!

  • How can u cut the tops off beets, won;t that end the life of the beet root itself, or will they grow more leaves?
    Thanks

  • jj

    We use the beet green when we harvest our beets, and keep them separate after harvesting. We also plant heavy and when we thin, we have baby beets for juicing and use the greens then or freeze them. But I am pretty sure if you cut off the greens while the root is still in the ground, you will stop that growing process and end the life of the root. But I am looking forward to other comments on that subject. Plus we just freeze our greens raw and straight up and use them that way without blanching first. They work great that way for soups and smoothies. But I would love to know if there is a better nutritional reason to blanch than to keep raw? Happy Gardening and Preserving Everyone, It is on!!

  • Lorrie

    if you only cut off some of the leaves from each root, the plant will continue to send up greens

  • Tom Williams

    When I thin my beets I don’t separate the small beet from the top greens but steam it all. With butter or cider vinegar there isn’t a better dish! Golden Beets are especially nice for this as the dish “looks” great. One of the wonderful things about gardens is you have access to vegetables you couldn’t possibly buy in a supermarket.

  • Greg

    Definitely will not kill the plant if done gently. I’ve had deer and woodchucks eat away most of the leaves and the plants survive and be harvestable, though it certainly slowed them down.

  • I have never cut the tops off beets, but I always completely cut all the leaves off my swiss chard, about 2 to 3 inches from the base. New leaves continue to come up from the center all summer, and the base ends up getting really big. So, I’m thinking I will try cutting off the tops of some of my beets next year, just to see what happens. I’m thinking they will be fine and continue to send up new leaves, and continue to grow the root.

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