Are you here searching for the best way to store beet greens? Lucky you, we have two! Learn everything you need to know about this leafy vegetable, from how to store beet greens to how to tell if beet greens are bad.
Let’s say you love everything about beets, whether they’re in a root or delicious green leafy form.
Fortunately, you’ve found out that there’s a great sale on whole beets at the farmer’s market or grocery store.
Then you’ve got a wonderful idea: to roast the beetroots with a simple oil, salt, and pepper in your oven.
Now, you’re scratching your head and wondering what to do with the remaining greens.
Aha! Since you can store beet greens in the fridge and freezer, why not keep them fresh for a couple of days or enjoy the leafy greens all year long?
To those who are unfamiliar with beet greens, they’re large green leaves of the beet plant (Beta vulgaris), a member of the Amaranthaceae family.
The dark green leaves are edible and feature noticeable reddish veins, sturdy stalks, and a mild, sweet, and earthy flavor profile similar to Swiss chard.
Beet greens can be found in salads, soups, pasta dishes, but you can also steam, boil, or sauté them along with aromatic spices and other complementary ingredients.
While people considered the hearty green a staple, many individuals still don’t know how to store beet greens at home.
This FAQ guide shares the best ways to store beet greens—in the fridge and freezer.
Failure to store beet greens correctly can make the vegetable go rancid quickly.
Fortunately, there are two good techniques to store beet greens at home—in the refrigerator and freezer.
Whether you prefer the refrigeration or the freezing method, the following are the ways that can keep your leafy greens fresh.
Here’s how to store beet greens in the refrigerator:
- Raw beet greens
- Kitchen knife
- Plastic bag/airtight container
- Paper towel
Instructions for storing beet greens in the refrigerator:
- Wash raw beet greens carefully in cold water to remove any dirt.
- Leave the vegetables whole or cut them into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Once done, drain the greens and dry using colander and paper towels. You can use a salad spinner in this step.
- Wrap the beet greens in a paper towel.
- Place the wrapped vegetables in an airtight container or plastic bag.
- Pop them in the crisper of your refrigerator.
Pro tip: Feel free to remove any yellowing leaves to keep your greens crisp.
To do this, simply peel off the bad leaves then put them back in the fridge.
Can I freeze raw beet greens?
Yes, you can freeze raw beet greens.
But keep in mind that the leaves are best if eaten while fresh.
Freezing can also affect the texture of the greens.
When you freeze vegetables, you’re freezing the water in the plant cells.
When the water freezes, it eventually expands and the ice crystals cause the plant cell walls to rupture.
This gives the thawed produce a softer texture than the fresh one.
How to freeze beet greens
You can only keep beet greens in the refrigerator anywhere from a few days up to a week if you follow the right steps.
If you want to enjoy the greens all year long, then you better know how to freeze the leaves!
Note: When storing beet greens in the freezer, you need to blanch them as this process stops the action of enzymes which can lead to spoilage as well as keep the bright color of the vegetables.
Here’s how to freeze beet greens:
Instructions for storing beet greens in the refrigerator:
- Wash raw beet greens carefully in cold water.
- Cut the vegetables into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Cook the vegetables in boiling water for about two minutes.
- Fill a large clean bowl with ice water.
- Then transfer and plunge blanched greens into the ice water for about two minutes.
- Drain the greens and dry using a colander, paper towels, or you can use a salad spinner.
- Once done, place the greens in a freezer bag. Make sure you get all the air out.
- To track the date, label the bags using a marker.
- Enjoy the frozen beet greens for up to a year.
How long will beet greens last?
As mentioned, beet greens that are stored properly in the refrigerator should last for a few days up to about a week.
To fully extend their shelf life, the best thing you need to do is to freeze them.
Executing the freezing process correctly can keep the greens fresh for about 10 to 12 months.
Bear in mind that keeping the greens longer in these environments causes them to lose their original texture.
How to tell if beet greens are still good
Selecting the freshest and most tender beet greens is the first step to getting the longest storage life in your kitchen.
You want to store those vegetables that are as fresh and tender as possible, so you’ll be successful with the whole storing process.
Here are the vital signs that your beet greens are good—or not:
A telltale sign of good beet greens is having a tender textural nuance.
Remember also that the beet greens texture should be chewy similar to kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard, not the other way around.
You should look for beet greens that feature a bright green color.
Avoid and discard those with dark spots, molds, and yellow color because these are clear signs of bad beet greens.
Good beet leaves should smell fresh or have no smell at all—of course.
If your greens give off a foul or sour odor, throw them out as this is a sign of unsafe to consume.
The bottom line
What I love about beet greens is that they’re truly versatile.
They can be added to soups, salads, smoothies, sauces—you name it!
But unfortunately, like any other leafy vegetables, they will spoil and rot.
In case you have a bunch of extra beet greens and don’t want them to go to waste, the best thing you should do is learn how to store the greens.
Keep your beet greens for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but if you want to use them before the next growing season, store them in your freezer!