If you’ve been stacking up on your beet supply and aren’t sure of the signs to look out for when they go bad, this post is for you. Sometimes your favorite store could have one or two bad beets in the bunch, and these tips will help you keep an eye out and save money as well.
No one likes a bad vegetable. Some produce bad smells and with others, you’ll only probably figure out something isn’t right when you’ve already cooked them. Imagine having guests over and realizing you have to cook all over again. It would be even worse if you learn much later after your guests complain of stomach upsets!
Beetroots are pretty hardy when fresh. Most root vegetables can go for a month without spoiling a long as you store them in the best conditions: Humid and cool. This is why you have a veggie drawer in your fridge; it can stay cool during summer, and not too icy when it’s winter.
What To Look Out For in Unhealthy Beets
Beetroots are very firm when they are fresh – similar to carrots. I like to compare my beets with my carrots since they are both root vegetables. Fresh carrots are nicely firm when fresh and you know something’s up when they get all wrinkly. Check for bruising as well.
While some wrinkling happens due to lack of moisture, other wrinkling means there isn’t any more time to give your beets or carrots, and you have to throw them out. Beets may have a soft coat, but fresh beets should be as firm as a tennis ball. If your beet is as soft as a tomato, it is probably bad.
If you’ve had fresh beets before, then you know that they have a pleasant earthy smell to them. Sometimes it is hard to base freshness by smell, but it works for me. The fresh earthy smell is something I have grown accustomed to, and you can use it.
Beets may not always smell rotten when completely bad, but if you notice an unpleasant smell that is nowhere close to a fresh, you have to let that beet go. You will have to use your gut and your nose on this one.
Sometimes I’ve had the misfortune of a beet going bad on me prematurely, which I assumed had something to do their storage before I bought them. After a few days of storing in the fridge, I unknowingly took the bad one out, to chew on idly. It was very bitter and dry, nothing like the sweet and mellow taste a good beet should have. That taste stuck around in my mouth and throat for a while, and luckily, I use it to test my beets before making a meal out of them!
There’s always debate when it comes to foods that have developed some mold. Some people say you can cut out the moldy parts and make do with what is left. I say, toss that beet as far as you can. The fungus doesn’t just affect the surface that you see. In most occasions, the spores and toxins are all over your vegetable by the time you spot them anywhere.
There’s no harm in wanting to save a few pennies by saving your beet for as long as you can, but there is no point in getting sick over a few bad beets. Buy your beets from a trusted source and don’t forget to store them well!