Cooked beetroots are loved by many because they add a lot of colour to the plate. They make the food look more appetizing. However, if beetroots are cooked in excess and left lying around they turn bad easily. In order to avoid that you need to know how to store cooked beetroot the right way so that you can extend its shelf life, while preserving its texture and flavour.
How to store cooked beetroot in the fridge
The fridge is the first place where you can store your cooked beetroot. However, cooked beetroot that is stored in the fridge only lasts up to 5 days. Therefore, only store cooked beetroot in the fridge if you are certain that you will consume it within the stipulated time frame.
To store the cooked beetroot in the fridge start by ensuring that the cooked beetroot is at room temperature. This is because if you place it in the fridge while hot it will cause the temperature of the fridge to change thus, affecting the temperature of other foods.
When the beetroot has cooled down place it into plastic containers or your heavy duty freezer bags then place it into the fridge.
How to store cooked beetroot in the freezer
NB: the freezer is the best option if you want to extend the shelf life of cooked beetroot, whether they are boiled, steamed or roasted.
When storing cooked beetroot in the freezer, ensure that they have cooled down. This is because you cannot place hot or warm cooked beetroot in the freezer. It will ultimately cause the temperature of the freezer to change and this affects the shelf life of other foods in your freezer.
When the cooked beetroot has cooled down, take it and place it in freezer bags or plastic containers. Before closing the plastic containers take out as much air as possible from the bag. This will help the cooked beetroot to last for a longer period of time and not succumb to freezer burn. To take out the air you can use a vacuum sealer or a straw.
When you have packed your cooked beetroot, take a marker and label the bag with the date in which you are placing the beetroot in the freezer. You can also indicate how many people that beetroot is likely to serve. This will help you in the long run.
Place the cooked beetroot in the freezer and it can last for about a year.
How to store cooked beetroot by canning
NB: this method only applies to beetroots that are cooked using the boiling method and not roasted beetroots. Canned beetroot can last for about 12 to 18 months.
When using the canning method start by ensuring that your cooked beetroot is at room temperature. Cut the beetroot into ½ an inch cubes using a sharp knife.
Take the sliced beetroots and place them inside a jar and add 1 tablespoon of salt inside. Make sure that when you place the beetroots inside you leave an inch of headspace. Add hot water into the jar such that the beetroots will be submerged in water.
Place the lids and rings on the jar. The next thing is to take the jars using a jar grabber and place them onto a rack in the pressure canner. Turn the canner lid on and twist it into place.
The next step is to turn the heat on high, this will help the heat to escape through the vent. Continue this process for about 10 minutes. Cover any openings on the canner and set the weight at 11 pounds for about 30 to 35 minutes.
When the jars have been processed you can remove them from the pressure canner and place them on a board or dry towels to cool. The process can take about 12 to 24 hours. When the jars have cooled down you need to check if they have completely sealed. You can do this by touching the centre of the lid and if it pops up and down it means it’s not sealed. Therefore you need to place it in the fridge and consume within 3 days.
How to store cooked beetroot by pickling
NB: this method is ideal if you want to extend the shelf life of a lot of beetroots that have been cooked using the boiling method.
Take the cooked beetroots, in this recipe you need 1 kg. Cut them into small pieces then stuff them into jars that have been sterilized using hot water. Leave at least 2 cm headspace so that the jars will be able to close properly.
Take a pot and add 2 cups of vinegar, a cup of water, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 cinnamon stick and ½ a cup of sugar. Bring all these ingredients to a boil and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour this liquid mixture into the jars that have beetroot inside.
When you have added the liquid, cover the jars. Then fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Submerge the jars in the water for about 10 minutes.
Take the jars out of the pot and wipe them the water off. Store the jars in a cool dry place. The pickled beetroots can last for about 12 to 18 months. However, once opened the beetroots should be stored in the fridge where they can last for approximately 1 to 3 months.
Tips when preparing beetroots
Beetroots have the ability to stain clothes and hands therefore when cooking them you need to be extra careful. To protect your hands from getting stained you can use plastic gloves. For cutting the beetroots use a plastic board that is if you have one.
Cooked beetroots can be stored in a variety of ways. They last longer as compared to raw beetroots. That is why most people prefer to store their beetroots while cooked.