Storing Processed Potatoes

Posted on: April 22nd, 2012 by Annette Welsford No Comments

 

Growing potatoes can be incredibly rewarding, particularly if you have the space to plant a fair number of them. Better still, if you get a particularly good crop, you can process some of them and store them for times when there aren’t any fresh tubers to harvest from your garden.

The Best Ways to Process Your Spuds

When you “process” potatoes, all you are really doing is semi-preparing them for cooking. So you can peel them, halve them peeled or unpeeled, quarter or slice them, peel and dice them, or you can even cut them ready for frying as chips.
If you don’t process your spuds, you can also cook them and freeze them (for example in the form of mash), but the processing option is a lot more versatile.
While it’s wonderful to have a ready supply of fresh veg from the garden, potatoes will start to go soft if they are left for too long. Then they will eventually start to rot.

How to Store Your Processed Potatoes

While freshly harvested spuds can be stored in any cool, ventilated pantry, cupboard or drawer, as soon as they have been processed, you need to refrigerate or freeze them. While frozen veggies will obviously last a lot longer (for at least a year), this isn’t always the best option. For example chips freeze very well, but baby potatoes lose texture and flavour, even though the freezing process preserves them. If you are going to use them in a stew or casserole, that’s fine, but it doesn’t work for those that are intended for a salad.
Any processed spuds kept in the refrigerator should be packed in polythene bags and stored in the vegetable tray that isn’t a cold as the open shelves.

Tips for Freezing Processed Potatoes

1.     Chips. Peel, slice and then blanch in hot oil for a couple of minutes. Remove them from the oil and let them drain, and then cool. Package in polyurethane bags and remove all air before sealing (a good way is to suck the air out through a straw).
2.     Baby potatoes. Blanch in boiling water for about three minutes. Plunge into cold water and then allow them to cool before packaging them as above.
3.     Diced potatoes. Peel, dice and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes. You don’t want them to go soft. Follow the same cold-water plunge, cooling and packaging process.
4.     Label all your bags with the process used to prepare the spuds as well as the date. It’s also a good idea to include the unfrozen weight of your spuds because once they are frozen they will weigh more. If you generally use a specific quantity of say diced veg in stews, package according to this quantity for convenience.
Freezing and De-thawing
It usually makes sense to load your freezer progressively for energy efficiency reasons, but it depends on quantity. Small amounts don’t really make much difference; but if you’ve got more than about half a dozen bags, consider keeping half of them in the fridge overnight.
The best way to thaw frozen potatoes is in the refrigerator, or at room temperature if the weather is cool. 

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