How to Store Beet Greens

Beet greens are not just an afterthought to the vibrant magenta bulbs they accompany; they are a nutritious powerhouse in their own right.

Rich in vitamins and minerals, these leafy tops are a healthy addition to any meal, provided they are stored correctly to maintain their freshness and nutritional value.

It’s essential to know the proper storage methods to ensure that you get the most out of your beet greens.

Beet greens neatly bundled in a refrigerator drawer, sealed in a plastic bag to retain freshness

When you bring your beet greens home, it’s important to prepare them for storage immediately to preserve their quality.

To maintain their luscious texture and maximize their shelf life, the greens should be stored separately from the beet bulbs.

Keep the greens in the refrigerator, using an airtight bag or container, to enjoy their nutritional benefits for as long as possible.

With the correct storage techniques, you can extend the life of your beet greens and prevent unnecessary waste.

Selecting and Preparing Beet Greens

A hand reaching for beet greens, washing and chopping them, then placing them in airtight container for storage

When choosing beet greens, look for signs of freshness and quality. You want greens that are firm to the touch and have a vibrant color.

The leaves should be free from any yellowing or wilting, indicating they are far from their harvest date. Beet greens that are still attached to the beetroots are often fresher, as they’re likely to have been recently harvested.

Preparing Your Beet Greens:

  • Inspect: Before washing, inspect the greens and remove any brown or spoiled leaves.
  • Rinse: Place the greens in a large bowl of cold water to loosen and remove dirt. Swirl them around to dislodge any soil particles.
  • Repeat: Drain the water and repeat the rinsing process until no dirt remains in the water.
  • Dry:
    • If you have a salad spinner, use it to remove excess water.
    • If not, gently shake the greens to shed free water and then lay them on a clean cloth or paper towels to air dry.

Remember, while preparing beet greens, it’s crucial to handle them gently to preserve their edible quality.

Over manipulation can bruise the greens, affecting their texture and taste.

Following these steps assures that your beet greens are clean and retain their nutritional quality, making them ready to be enjoyed in your favourite dishes.

Short-Term Storage Methods

For optimal short-term storage of beet greens, it is essential to manage moisture levels and temperature. The right techniques can significantly extend the freshness of your greens.

Refrigerating Beet Greens

To store beet greens in the refrigerator, first rinse and pat dry them thoroughly to remove excess moisture.

Place the greens in a plastic bag or container designed for produce.

If using a bag, leave it open slightly to allow for a bit of air circulation, or poke a few holes in it.

This method can help maintain the beet greens’ shelf life for about 5 to 7 days.

Using the Crisper Drawer

The crisper drawer in your fridge provides an ideal environment for storing beet greens, as it helps regulate humidity. For the best results:

  • Line the crisper drawer with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
  • Do not wash the beet greens before storing; keep them dry.
  • Place the beet greens loosely in the drawer to avoid overcrowding.
  • Monitor the humidity settings; it should be on the higher end for leafy greens.

Using the crisper drawer can extend the freshness of beet greens, keeping them crisp and vibrant for a similar duration as refrigeration, typically up to a week.

Long-Term Storage Solutions

When it comes to extending the shelf life of beet greens, freezing is your best bet. This method preserves the nutritional quality while maintaining color and texture when done correctly.

Freezing Beet Greens

Freezing beet greens is a straightforward task.

Your first step is to wash the greens thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. Next, pat them dry to minimize excess ice crystal formation, which can affect the texture.

Once dry, you can opt to leave the greens whole or chop them to your preferred size.

  1. Prepare: Wash and dry the beet greens.
  2. Packaging: Place the greens in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  3. Remove Air: Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing to protect against freezer burn.
  4. Label: Clearly label the container with the date of freezing to keep track of shelf life, which can last up to a year for optimum quality.
  5. Freeze: Place in the coldest part of your freezer, away from the door where temperature fluctuations are most common.

Blanching Before Freezing

Blanching beet greens before freezing can help maintain their vibrant color and nutrient content. It involves a brief heat treatment that stops enzyme activity which can lead to spoilage.

  1. Boiling: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Blanching: Submerge the beet greens for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cooling: Immediately transfer the greens to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
  4. Draining: Dry the greens thoroughly after they have cooled completely.
  5. Freezing: Follow the packaging and labeling steps outlined in the previous subsection before placing the blanched greens in the freezer.

Preventing Spoilage

To ensure the quality and extend the shelf life of your beet greens, preventing spoilage should be your top priority. Effective storage methods focus on maintaining optimal humidity levels and regular inspection.

Monitoring Humidity Levels

Keeping beet greens fresh in your refrigerator involves managing moisture content.

Excess humidity can lead to spoilage due to the growth of mold and bacteria.

  • Ideal Humidity: Store beet greens at a humidity level of 95-100% to keep them hydrated without becoming waterlogged.
  • Storage Container:
    • Use an airtight container or sealable plastic bag to maintain the necessary humidity.
    • Place a dry paper towel inside the container to absorb any excess moisture that may accumulate.

Regular Checking

Frequent inspection of your stored beet greens is key to identify early signs of spoilage.

  • Inspection Frequency: Check on your greens every few days.
  • Spoilage Indicators: Look for any yellowing, slimy texture, or foul odor.
  • Action Steps:
    • Remove: Discard any spoiled or damaged leaves immediately to prevent the spread to healthy leaves.
    • Refresh: If leaves start to wilt, wrap them in a damp paper towel before returning them to the refrigerator for a quick rejuvenation.

Incorporating Beet Greens in Dishes

Beet greens arranged on a cutting board with a knife. Airtight container for storing greens in the background

Beet greens are a flavorful and nutritious addition to many dishes. Their versatility allows you to boost the nutritional value and color of your meals effortlessly.

Salads and Side Dishes

Incorporating beet greens into salads is one of the easiest ways to enjoy their delicious flavor.

Use young and tender beet greens as the main green base for a beet salad, or mix them with other lettuces for a varied texture.

Consider adding goat cheese for a creamy contrast, alongside nuts for crunch. Here’s a simple approach to get you started:

  • Beet Green Salad:
    • Ingredients: Tender beet greens, crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts, vinaigrette.
    • Method: Toss young beet greens with a light vinaigrette. Top with goat cheese and walnuts.

As a side dish, sauté beet greens with garlic and a splash of lemon juice, or incorporate them into a grain bowl for a nutrient-dense meal.

Smoothies and Beverages

Beet greens can elevate your smoothies by adding essential nutrients without compromising on taste.

Their mild flavor blends well with fruits and other greens, making them an ideal choice for a morning or post-workout beverage.

  • Beet Green Smoothie:
    • Ingredients: A handful of beet greens, banana, mixed berries, almond milk.
    • Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Enhancing Beet Green Dishes

Beet greens arranged in a vibrant pile, stored in a clear, airtight container in the refrigerator. A label with "Beet Greens" is affixed to the container

To elevate the taste of your beet greens, focus on pairing them with the right ingredients and utilizing proper cooking techniques.

Seasoning and Sautéing

Beet greens, rich in flavor on their own, can be enhanced significantly with proper seasoning. Begin by washing the greens thoroughly. Dry them to ensure they sauté evenly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Introduce the beet greens and sauté until they wilt, often for 3-5 minutes.

A straightforward seasoning approach is best:

  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat

These seasonings will complement the beet greens without overpowering their natural, earthy flavor.

Combining with Other Vegetables

Incorporate beet greens with other vegetables for a more complex dish. Their robust texture stands up well when mixed with softer vegetables like spinach or with heartier ones like collard greens and Swiss chard.

Combine equal parts of these vegetables, or use beet greens as the dominant ingredient for a more pronounced taste.

When mixing, consider these pairings:

  • Sautéed spinach with beet greens for a tender mix
  • Braised collard greens alongside beet greens for a Southern-inspired dish
  • Beet greens and Swiss chard for a colorful variety

Each vegetable should be seasoned similarly to the beet greens, with salt and pepper, and could benefit from a splash of olive oil to meld the flavors.

Cook all components to your desired tenderness and serve immediately for optimal taste and texture.

Understanding Beet Greens Nutrition

A bunch of fresh beet greens is placed in a refrigerator drawer, wrapped in a damp paper towel to keep them fresh

Beet greens are not only nutritious but also a robust source of various vitamins and minerals that contribute to your overall health. When you include beet greens in your diet, you’re tapping into a wealth of beneficial nutrients.

Vitamins: Beet greens are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in your body’s healing process and immune system function.

They are also a good source of vitamin K, essential for bone health and blood clotting, as well as vitamin A, which supports good vision and skin health.

Minerals: In addition to vitamins, beet greens provide a variety of minerals.

They contain calcium, crucial for strong bones and teeth, and magnesium, which supports muscle and nerve functions.

You’ll also benefit from the iron found in beet greens, which is necessary for transporting oxygen in your blood.

Antioxidants: The vibrant leaves are packed with antioxidants, substances that assist in protecting your cells from oxidative damage. These antioxidants contribute to your well-being and may help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

To maximize these health benefits, include beet greens in your meals. They can be steamed, sautéed, or added to soups and smoothies.

Typical Nutritional Values per 100g of Raw Beet Greens:

  • Calories: 22 kcal
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Fat: 0.13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.33 g
  • Fiber: 2.0 g
  • Sugars: 0.5 g

Advanced Preservation Techniques

Beet greens arranged neatly in airtight containers, stored in a refrigerator. A label with the date and contents is affixed to each container

To maximize the lifespan and flavor of your beet greens, consider advanced preservation methods like pickling or transforming them into chips. These techniques not only store your beet greens for extended periods but also add a delightful twist to their use in various recipes or as standalone snacks.

Creating Pickled Beet Greens


  • Fresh beet greens
  • 1 cup of vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Optional spices: garlic, dill, peppercorns


  1. Wash beet greens thoroughly and chop them if desired.
  2. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  4. Place beet greens in a sterilized jar and pour the hot brine over them, ensuring the greens are fully submerged.
  5. Add optional spices for flavor. Seal the jar and let it cool to room temperature.
  6. Refrigerate the pickled beet greens for at least 48 hours before consuming.

Making Beet Greens Chips


  • Beet greens
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Rinse the beet greens and dry them completely.
  3. Tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces, removing any thick stems.
  4. Toss with a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  5. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
  6. Let them cool to room temperature to crisp up before serving or storing.

Store your pickled beet greens in the fridge; they can be added to salads, sandwiches, or used as a side dish. The beet greens chips make a healthy snack and should be stored in an airtight container to maintain crispness. Both methods offer a new way to enjoy your beet greens and incorporate them into your meals or as a part of your beet recipes and sauces.

Pairing with Beets and Other Foods

Beet greens offer a versatile flavor that pairs exceptionally with the earthy sweetness of beets themselves. Mastering the storage of beet greens ensures they remain fresh to elevate your culinary creations.

Beet greens arranged next to beets and other foods, stored in a refrigerator or produce drawer

Complementing with Roasted Beets

When preparing roasted beets, your key to success is marrying them with their own greens.

After you’ve stored your beets properly in the crisper drawer or the coldest part of your fridge, use them within two weeks to ensure maximum freshness. Here’s a quick and delicious way to use both:

  1. Roast your beets simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400°F for about 25-30 minutes until tender.
  2. Sauté the beet greens in a pan with garlic and a touch of olive oil until they wilt.

Crafting Gourmet Beet Dishes

Transform your stored beets and greens into gourmet dishes with ease. One popular recipe is beet hummus, where the subtle sweetness of beets complements the creamy texture of the hummus:

  • Beet Hummus:
    • 1 cup roasted beets, peeled and cubed
    • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 2 tablespoons tahini
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Salt and olive oil to taste
    • Blend the ingredients until smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Properly storing beet greens extends their freshness and makes them more versatile in your cooking. Here are some key strategies to help you maintain their quality.

What is the best way to store beet greens for extended periods?

To store beet greens for extended periods, keep them in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze them. Blanching the greens before freezing may help preserve their texture and color.

Can fresh beet greens be frozen for later use?

Yes, fresh beet greens can be frozen. Blanche them first for about 2-3 minutes, then place in ice water to halt the cooking process before drying and freezing.

What steps should be taken to store beet greens in the refrigerator?

To store beet greens in the refrigerator, wrap them in a paper towel to absorb moisture and place them in an airtight container or plastic bag. They should stay fresh for about 4-5 days.

How can I preserve cooked beet greens, and how long will they last?

After cooking, allow your beet greens to cool, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should last for up to a week when stored this way.

How do beet leaves fare in the fridge over time?

Beet leaves may begin to lose their crispness and vibrant color after several days in the fridge. It’s best to consume them within 4-5 days for optimal freshness.

What are the proper techniques for canning beet greens to ensure safety and quality?

Canning beet greens requires proper sterilization of the canning jars and following a pressure canning method.

Always consult up-to-date guidelines for canning leafy greens to ensure safety and quality.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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