From beets you can cook a huge amount of a variety of delicious dishes. Convenient when this root vegetable is always at hand. But not all housewives know how to properly store it throughout the winter.
How to store beets in the winter: tips
In order for beets to remain until spring, first of all, it must be properly harvested. It is advisable to carry out this procedure in dry weather - the ideal time is mid-October. During this period, frost has not yet come, but the weather is already quite cool.
The harvested beets must be laid out in the sun and allowed to dry properly, otherwise it will begin to rot. Then all remnants of the earth are carefully removed, however, it is strictly forbidden to wash the beets.
Now you need to carefully examine all the roots for damage. It is important to remember that spoiled vegetables should not be placed in storage, it should be used first.
If you plan to keep beetroot, you must cut the whole tops, but you can not cut the leaves, otherwise there is a chance of damaging the roots. From the stem should be left about 2 cm, but not less. Once all the preparatory work is completed, you can shift the beets into the room for complete drying (it should be not only cool enough, but also well ventilated) for about a week.
You can store beets in several ways, but the best is the basement, the temperature in which should not be above 2 degrees. It is advisable to use sand for storage, as it prevents the evaporation of moisture, therefore, does not allow the crop to rot, besides does not allow the appearance of mold. If it is not possible to use sand, then it can be replaced with simple sawdust or peat.
In the event that beets are stored in boxes, then it is recommended to place not very large root crops at their bottom, and larger ones are laid on top. The fact is that medium-sized beets are stored better.
Throughout the winter, the vegetable is perfectly preserved if it is sprinkled with a small amount of wood ash or simple chalk. You can also try the method of storage with clay talker - it needs to coat the roots, then transfer it to storage.
You can also use another method - in plastic bags. One such bag contains about 40 kg of beets, but most importantly - it can not be tied or closed. During the entire storage period, the bags must be open so that the air can flow freely.
After some time, it will be possible to notice that dry rot has appeared. Do not worry, as this disease occurs quite often. To prevent its development, it will be enough once a month to perform simple prevention - beet need to sort out and remove all root crops that begin to rot. If the infected beets are too much, you can use a little trick - carefully cut out all the affected areas with a knife, then sprinkle with a small amount of wood ash. Thanks to this technique, it is possible to save the harvest until spring.
In the event that, over time, the beets begin to germinate, it means that the moisture level and the temperature at which it is stored does not suit it. All grown tops must be pruned.
Storage Beets Cellar
For long-term storage of beets in the winter, it is necessary not only to properly prepare the vegetables, but also the room in which it will remain for the whole winter. As it was already written above, the ideal option is a cellar.
It is necessary to properly prepare the cellar - the air temperature should be no more than 2 degrees Celsius, also it should be quite dark. If possible, it is worthwhile to ensure at least minimal air exchange in the cellar. It is not recommended to store vegetables in the apartment, as they will quickly deteriorate.
Now you need to properly prepare the cellar - pre-dried in the sun sand poured into the bottom of the boxes or the floor, then lay out all the roots, which are also sprinkled with sand on top. If you follow this rule, the beets will receive the required amount of moisture and the process of formation of rot and mold will not begin.
Can I use the fridge?
If you can not store beets in the cellar, you can use the refrigerator. However, in this case, the shelf life will not be longer than 1 month. It is not recommended to leave the roots in the refrigerator for a longer time, as they begin to lose vitamins and moisture quickly.
Before being stored in the refrigerator, the beets must be cleaned, but not washed, and then put into clean plastic bags. Make some holes in the packages in advance. Thanks to this little trick, roots can be stored for several weeks.
Increasingly, special vacuum bags are used to store beets in the refrigerator. However, in this case, the vegetables must not only be thoroughly cleaned, but also washed and removed all residues of the tops. Further, all root crops, without fail, are processed in a special saline solution and transferred to previously prepared vacuum bags. Because of this, you can store beets in the refrigerator for several months.
You can use another way - grind beets in a meat grinder or in a food processor or cut into very small cubes, put into plastic bags and put in the freezer. Due to this, vegetables will be stored for much longer, however, they can lose some of their taste and vitamins.
Of course, the method of storing beets in the refrigerator is not the best option, if possible, it is better to opt for the cellar. In any case, you need to regularly touch the roots and remove those that have begun to fade or deteriorate. For storage, it is necessary to choose medium-sized beets, because, unlike large ones, they are less likely to suffer from various fungal diseases, and will not fade as quickly as small ones.