Do raw beets freeze well?

Beets are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Many people grow beets in their garden or buy them fresh at the farmers market. If you end up with more raw beets than you can eat right away, you may wonder if you can freeze the extras for later use. Freezing is a simple way to preserve foods at their peak freshness. Read on to learn if raw beets freeze well and the best practices for freezing beets to maintain quality and flavor.

Can You Freeze Raw Beets?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze raw beets! Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of fresh raw beets and have them on hand for up to a year. When frozen properly, the texture, color, flavor, and nutrients of raw beets are well retained.

Beets have a high water content which can cause them to become mushy when frozen. However, with a few preparation tips, you can freeze raw beets while maintaining a firm texture.

How to Freeze Raw Beets

Follow these simple steps for successfully freezing fresh raw beets:

  1. Select fresh, firm beets. Avoid old, soft, or damaged beets.
  2. Trim off the tops, leaving 1-2 inches of stem. Do not cut off the taproot at the bottom.
  3. Wash the beets gently but thoroughly under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
  4. Leave whole or cut into desired sizes. Small or medium beets can be left whole. Cut larger beets into 1/2 inch cubes or slices.
  5. Blanch the beets. This helps stop enzyme actions and lock in color, texture, and flavor. To blanch:
    • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    • Add beets and boil for 3 minutes for cubes/slices, or 5 minutes for whole beets.
    • Drain and immediately submerge in ice water for 3 minutes to stop cooking.
    • Drain again and pat completely dry.
  6. Place blanched beets in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or tray. Freeze for 1-2 hours until completely firm.
  7. Transfer frozen beets to zip-top freezer bags, pressing out excess air. Or vacuum seal for longer storage.
  8. Label bags with content and freeze date. Frozen raw beets will keep for 10-12 months at 0°F.

Tips for Freezing Beets

  • Choose young, tender beets for freezing. Older beets will become fibrous.
  • Cutting beets into smaller pieces makes them easier to use later.
  • Blanching before freezing helps maintain texture and color.
  • Freeze beets in a single layer first, then pack into bags to prevent clumping.
  • Exclude as much air as possible and use airtight freezer bags or containers.
  • Avoid storing beets near foods with strong odors like fish, which they can absorb.

How to Use Frozen Beets

Frozen raw beets are ready to use in soups, stews, smoothies, juices and any cooked dishes calling for beets. Thaw first before using in salads or raw preparations. Here are some ways to use frozen beets:

  • Cook from frozen into soups, stews, and chilis. No need to thaw first.
  • Roast frozen beets in the oven per usual recipe directions.
  • Blend into smoothies straight from the freezer.
  • Thaw overnight in the fridge or quickly under cold water. Use in salads, slaws, and other raw recipes.
  • Boil frozen beets until heated through and tender. Toss with butter or olive oil.
  • Thaw and grate over hummus, yogurt, oatmeal, or desserts.

Changes in Frozen Beets

While freezing preserves raw beets very well, there are a few changes you may notice after thawing:

  • Texture softens slightly becoming less crunchy.
  • Some loss of juice/water content.
  • Slight darker color.
  • Subtle dulling of fresh flavor.

These changes are minimal if using proper freezing methods. The beets retain excellent quality and are comparable, though not identical, to fresh beets.

Nutrition of Frozen Beets

Freezing locks in most of the nutrients of fresh raw beets. Studies show that key vitamins and antioxidants like folate, potassium, and betalains in beets are well retained through freezing.

According to USDA data, here is a comparison of the nutrition in fresh vs. frozen raw beets (per 1 cup diced):

Nutrient Fresh Frozen
Calories 58 59
Fiber 3.8g 4.0g
Folate 136mcg 133mcg
Potassium 442mg 441mg
Vitamin C 6.0mg 4.5mg

As shown, frozen beets retain their key micronutrients like folate and potassium nearly as well as fresh. Vitamin C content declines more over freezing but remains at reasonable levels.


Freezing raw beets is an excellent way to preserve your harvest or farmers market haul of this healthy vegetable. With proper preparation like blanching and airtight storage, beets freeze remarkably well. Their texture, flavor, color, and nutrients are well retained through freezing over an extended period. Frozen beets are highly versatile and can be used in either cooked or raw preparations. Freezing lets you enjoy the benefits of beets all year round!

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