Sweet potatoes are sweet-tasting root vegetables that are grown around the world. While they are called yams in North America, they are different from real yams. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants making them rather healthy starchy vegetables.
While they are not closely related to common potatoes, they share a long shelf life. Even with this, you should make sure to store them properly to avoid reducing their shelf life. In this regard, we listed the best ways you can store sweet potatoes so you can continue savoring its sweet taste for any dishes you whip up in the kitchen.
How to Store Sweet Potatoes
Are you ready to get into all the details you need to know about storing sweet potatoes? Then keep on reading!
#1: Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place
They are best stored in a cool, dry place with suitable ventilation. You can put them in woven baskets or wooden boxes to minimize damage. They should also be kept off the ground to prevent rodents and other pests from getting to them. Make sure the area where you store the sweet potato is well-ventilated.
Due to this, the best place to store them is the basement or root cellar. They should also be placed away from sources of heat. If stored properly, they can last a long time.
#2: Store away from other produce
Another thing to remember when storing sweet potatoes is to store away from other fruits and vegetables. When they are stored together with other products, they may ripen faster. This is mainly due to the gases produced by many fruits and vegetables during the ripening process. If they are exposed to these gases, they have the tendency to sprout early and spoil.
#3: Avoid storing uncut sweet potatoes in the fridge
You should avoid storing uncut sweet potatoes inside a refrigerator. The cold temperature will harden the center of them. Due to this, it will take longer for you to cook them. Storing it in the fridge will also result in an unpleasant taste when you eat it.
Although many people are tempted to put them into the fridge, this certainly isn’t recommended and should be avoided. Although they won’t last quite as long on the panty shelf, it’s worth it to avoid these negative consequences of putting them in the refrigerator.
#4: Allow newly-harvested sweet potatoes to cure
Similar to the common potato, you should give newly-harvested sweet potatoes a curing period. After harvesting them, you should place them in a well-ventilated room with temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Store them in the room for 7 to 14 days.
After the curing process, you can transfer them in a storage area with temperatures of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also avoid putting them under direct sunlight and heat sources.
#5: Refrigerate sliced sweet potatoes
If you sliced more sweet potatoes than you intend to use, you can store them inside the fridge. This is one of the few times you should store raw ones in the refrigerator. Before using the refrigerated sweet potatoes, check if they are soft or slimy. If they become soft or slimy, you should throw them away since they are already spoiled.
Before putting them in the fridge, put them inside a bowl and cover it with water. Make sure all of them are covered with water. As much as possible, you should not keep them in the bowl for more than 24 hours.
#6: Freeze raw, sliced sweet potatoes
If the sweet potatoes you peeled and sliced are more than what you intend to use, you can freeze them for later use. Just make sure to remove all the skin before you freeze them to prevent bacteria on the skin from transferring into the sweet potato. Frozen raw potatoes can last up to six months.
Before using frozen raw veggies, make sure to blanch them for two to three minutes. This will prevent them from becoming stringy and squishy after they thaw.
#7: Freeze cooked sweet potatoes
If you have excess cooked sweet potatoes, you can store them in the freezer. Place them in an airtight container before putting them in the freezer. Frozen cooked potatoes can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one year. But keep in mind to discard them if they start to discolor or smell bad.
What to Do With Excess Sweet Potatoes
There may be instances when you have more sweet potatoes than you can use at any given time. If you are running out of ideas on what you can do with excess vegetables don’t worry. We got your back. Here are some of our top tips to make great use of your plentiful harvest.
Are you ready? Let’s get to the best ideas right here!
Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chips
Dehydrating sweet potatoes allows you to make something new out of this sweet root vegetable. While sweet potato chips make great snack items, they do not have a long shelf life. But if you get to taste it, you may end up eating everything within a short period of time. You can either use a dehydrator or an oven to dry sweet potatoes.
To make dehydrated sweet potato chips, you have to slice them into thin slices before a little bit of oil on them. Then add a mixture of salt and spices on then before baking them. After baking, you should allow them to dry before taking them out of the oven.
The best option is to use a food dehydrator, not just for this vegetable but for a myriad of things. It’s super easy to make delicious snacks and treats with them so be sure to pick one up for your house today.
Dehydrated Sweet Potato Powder
Aside from sweet potato chips, you can also make dehydrated powder. This powder can be used for several things, including pies, biscuits, and soups. Moreover, it is also convenient to store them as powder since they take up a little space.
To make dehydrated powder, simply follow the procedure in making dehydrated chips. Then break up the chips in a blender before running the powder through a mesh strainer to make sure there are no chunks in them.
Canning sweet potatoes is another way you can use excessive numbers of this root vegetable. Aside from ensuring your excess veggies do not go to waste, you also save money from buying canned goods in the grocery. The process of canning sweet potatoes can be tedious, but you will see the benefits they offer after the entire process is finished.
But, the process can certainly be made easier with a pressure canning pot. Be sure to pick one up to make the process as seamless as possible.
Summary on How to Store Sweet Potatoes
Similar to the common potato, these vegetables have a long shelf life. But to ensure they last a long time, you should know how to store them properly. Follow these tips to ensure you’ll be able to keep them for as long of time as possible.
There are a number of common questions that people have about how to store this starchy vegetable. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is the Best Place to Store Sweet Potatoes?
The best place to store sweet potatoes is in a cool, dark place. It’s not recommended to keep them in the fridge because this can chance the cell structure which makes them harder to break down and they’ll take a longer time to cook.
Is it Okay to Store Sweet Potatoes in the Fridge?
According to experts at the North Carolina sweet potato commission, they shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. This is because exposing them to cool temperatures can produce a hard centre and also give them an unpleasant taste. It’s best to keep them in a cool, dry, and well ventilated place.
How Long Can You Keep Sweet Potatoes?
You can keep sweet potatoes for about 3-5 weeks in the panty as long as they’re stored in a cool, dry place. They will keep for 2-3 months in the fridge, but this isn’t recommended because they can get too hard and it’ll also change the taste of them.
Can I Freeze Fresh Sweet Potatoes?
It’s possible to freeze fresh sweet potatoes for a few months but only if you peel, blanch, and then submerge them in ice water for 2-3 minutes. Then, freeze them in a single layer. This will prevent them from getting mushy or stringy or from sticking together.
Have your Say about Sweet Potatoes
Would you have any other ways of storing sweet potatoes at home? Or, tips for using an excess amount of them in a useful way. Tell us about them by making a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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