How To Preserve Potatoes
So you’re in the grocery store being frugal and you notice that potatoes are on sale, but you know that if you buy too many – they will spoil before your household will eat all of them…
Or, you are growing potatoes in your garden, and during harvest you have LOTS of them…
NOTE: Potatoes are one of the highest calorie-per-pound garden vegetables (about 400 calories per pound), and are a great choice for the ‘survival garden’ (among other things).
So, if you don’t have a root cellar, here are a few additional ways to preserve potatoes for long term food storage:
FREEZE your potatoes
1. Peel or Scrape the potatoes.
2. Wash the potatoes.
3. Blanch the potatoes (3 – 5 minutes.)
Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water). It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleans the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.
Use one gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put the potatoes into boiling water. Place a lid on the pot.
Note: The water should return to boiling within about 1 minute, or you are using too much potato for the amount of boiling water.
Start counting blanching time when water returns to a boil. Keep heat high for duration.
4. Cool. Put in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain.
5. Pack. Place in Ziploc freezer bags, remove the air from the bag as best you can.
6. Seal and Freeze.
The quality of the frozen potatoes will remain best in a very cold freezer (0-degrees-F or lower). 12-months is a reasonable expectation for shelf life.
Another option is to simply make ‘mashed’ potatoes, for Ziploc freezer bags to freeze.
DEHYDRATE your potatoes
1. Scrub and wash the potatoes in the sink, skin on.
2. Put potatoes (skin on) in a pan of water, bring to boil, simmer until tender (~15 mins.)
3. Put potatoes in bowl to cool, and/or refrigerate overnight for easier slicing.
4. Slice into 1/4 or 3/8-inch widths (slices, cubes, whatever) with skin on for added nutrients, and arrange on dehydrator trays without overlapping.
5. Dehydrate at 125-degrees-F until crisp.
6. Store in Ziploc bags (burp the air out) or canning-jars, etc.
Note: Food Dehydrator Basics…
HOME-CANNING your potatoes
1. Wash and peel potatoes. Place in ascorbic acid solution to prevent darkening.
2. Cut into approximate 1/2 inch pieces.
3. Place potatoes in a pan of hot water, bring to a boil and boil pieces for 2 minutes (10 minutes for pieces up to 1 – 2 inches). Drain.
4. Fill jars with hot prepared potatoes, leaving no more than 1-inch head-space. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Salt helps preserve the texture and taste of the potatoes.
5. Cover hot potatoes with FRESH boiling water, leaving 1-inch head-space and covering all pieces of potato. (Caution: Do not use the water you cooked the potatoes in; it contains too much starch.)
6. Adjust lids and process following the recommendations (Pressure Canner Only)…
Quarts (Hot Pack), Process (40 minutes) at 11-lbs (dial gauge) or 15-lbs (weighted gauge)