Keeping Beets

bcskyeSeptember 13, 2012

Picked 10 pounds of beets this afternoon. Trimmed the tops back to about 2 inches and am getting ready to wash them. After washing the dirt off of them, can I wait until tomorrow to cook enough to slip the skins off, slice and can them? Spent a good day on and off at the dentist's office, then the U-pick and I'm wiped out. I also got a crate of canning tomatoes and a few green beans. Thinking I'll wash off the tomatoes tonight then tomorrow when I get home, I'll get them through the strainer and work on the beets. Forgot about the jalapenos, long sweet peppers (Laredo?) and the zucchini I got at a farm stand and two dozen ears of corn I blanched and froze and now have to vacumn pack. Gee, my stamina is not what it used to be and I'm so tired.

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I waited overnight before canning my beets this year (kids sidetracked me). They bleached themselves. I am told this is the only real adverse affect, although I am really really no expert on canning, however, no one has answered you yet. I have eaten a couple of jars and they don't taste any different, they just aren't as red as they should be.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Thanks, Kali615. I've always done my beets as soon as I pulled them, too. I think I'll just clean mine, let them air-dry and refrigerate then can tomorrow. I don't care if they bleach out a little.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:14PM
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david52 Zone 6

Not so much canning, but I've kept fresh beets for months by nipping of the leaves about and inch from the top, snipping off that tap root, brushing off the dirt, then keeping them in a bin filled with peat moss, the whole lot in the garage.

In April, they'll start to shoot roots and stems.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Do you know what temperatures your garage averages while you store your beets, please?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:53PM
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david52 Zone 6

Over the winter, it varies between 50 - 70F during the day and 35-40F at night.

Not to hot, not to cold :-)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I agree, they'll wait and they'll be fine.

I often go to the garden (I don't live at the farm yet, I still live in town) and pull beets. I bring them home and put the bucket in the garage overnight or even two nights. If I want to eat the greens I remove them, if not I leave them on and remove them when I get ready to use the beets.

If I'm storing them long term, I take the tops off but for a couple of days they keep fine, even with the tops on. My garage is not heated or cooled, so when it's 100F outside, it's 100F (or higher) inside. Again, that's not good for long term storage but it's fine for a day.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:20PM
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"They bleached themselves"

So that's what happened to my beets. This was my first year growing beets and I was flummoxed by the lack of color once I cooked them. How soon after pulling must they be cooked to retain color? Does anyone know?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:34PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

How soon after pulling must they be cooked to retain color?

Varies with the variety, the size, the storage temp, and if trimmed or not.

Trimmed and refrigerated Ace and Detroit's will hold color for 4-5 days IME before beginning to fade. Other varieties will begin to fade within 24 hours. The 'old farmers' rule says "the bigger the beet and the darker the color the longer they keep". Works to a degree but like most things picked and cooked within 24 hours works best.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:02AM
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