Sweet potatoes are an incredibly healthy food to include in your diet. They are highly nutritious, promote gut health, and support healthy vision.
There are even some studies that suggest that they might have cancer-fighting properties. In recent years, they have also become a bit of a food trend with sweet potato fries being offered on almost every menu in the country.
Unfortunately, these amazing, colorful potatoes aren’t in season all year round. Thankfully, there is a way to make sure that you can enjoy the numerous health benefits of this flavorful food all year round with local or home-grown produce.
In this article, we will look at whether you can freeze sweet potatoes and how to do it properly.
Can You Freeze Sweet Potatoes?
The short answer to this question is, yes you can. It is possible to safely freeze sweet potato and ensure that it is still edible when you defrost it.
This is a great way to keep local or home-grown produce accessible all year round without having to purchase potatoes that have been artificially grown or imported.
With that being said, there are certain ways that you should freeze your potato to get the best results and avoid any unnecessary food wastage.
Additionally, there are some important steps that you should take to avoid your sweet potato being ruined by bacteria while it is in the freezer.
How To Freeze Sweet Potato
There are three main methods that you can use to successfully freeze your sweet potato. The methods pertain to the way in which you have prepared the sweet potato prior to the freezing process.
Below, we will look at the three easiest ways to freeze your sweet potato for a later date.
How To Freeze Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a really great alternative to regular fries and add a different flavor and texture to your snacks or sides. However, if you want to save your sweet potato to make fries at a later date, you need to properly prepare them.
The first thing you will need to do is wash and scrub your potatoes to remove any residual soil from the skin. You can also peel the potatoes if you like, but they often taste better with the skin left on.
From here, you will want to cut your potatoes into fries. You can make them as thick or thin as you would like. Once you have cut the fries, add them to a pot of boiling water. Blanch them for only a few minutes, 2-3 should be enough.
Make sure that you don’t fully cook the fries as they will become overcooked when you defrost them. If you are making particularly thin fries, you may only need to blanch them for a minute or so.
After a few minutes of blanching, remove the fries from the water and place them into an ice bath. This will halt the cooking process and avoid limp, overcooked fries.
Once they have cooled completely, drain them and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Once they are dry and have cooled, spread the fries in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for around 2 hours.
Once they have frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and not worry about them sticking together.
When you want to reheat your frozen sweet potato fries, simply place them onto a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can also deep fry them for 4-5 minutes or until they are crispy.
How To Freeze Mashed Sweet Potato
There is something incredibly comforting about mashed sweet potatoes that reminds us of the holiday season. Thankfully, you can freeze mashed sweet potatoes without altering the texture or flavor too much.
The method for freezing mashed sweet potatoes is a little different from the other types of sweet potatoes in this article thanks to the amount of cooking time prior to freezing.
Start off by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into cubes. Place them into a pot of boiling water and allow them to cook until they are ready to be mashed.
Drain the potatoes and mash them as you would if you were about to serve them. Add any seasonings or cream at this stage.
Once you have prepared the mashed potatoes, allow them to cool completely to room temperature. You can speed this process up by spreading the mashed potatoes onto a plate or baking sheet.
Once they have cooled, you can begin the freezing process. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes that have cooled to room temperature.
There are two main ways you can freeze your potatoes. The simplest method is to place the mashed potatoes into a freezer bag and lay the bag flat in the freezer so that it freezes like a tablet of potato.
Alternatively, you can freeze the mashed potatoes in an ice cube tray. This can allow you to defrost as much or as little as you like.
When it comes to reheating your mashed potatoes, simply remove them from the freezer and reheat them in a pan until they are the consistency of mashed potatoes again.
You may find that you will need to add more cream or milk at this point to achieve the perfect consistency for your mashed potatoes.
How To Freeze Cubed Or Wedged Sweet Potato
If you want to freeze your sweet potatoes in cubes or wedges, you will need to follow a similar procedure to freezing sweet potato fries.
The first step is to cut your potatoes into cubes or wedges. You can choose to peel the potatoes or leave the skin on for this, just make sure that the pieces of potato are as equal in size as possible.
Then, you will need to blanch the potatoes in boiling water. This will give you crispier potatoes when you cook them out of the freezer. The amount of time that you need to blanch the potatoes will depend on the size of the chunks.
You want the potatoes to be tender enough that you can just poke a hole with a fork but not too easily. This can be a delicate balance but the main thing to remember is that you don’t want to cook them fully.
Once they are tender, drain the water and put the potatoes into an ice bath. This stops the cooking process and prevents soggy potatoes.
Once they have cooled, pat them dry with a paper towel and spread them out onto a lined baking sheet. Place them into the freezer for 4-5 hours before transferring them into a freezer bag.
When you want to reheat the wedges or cubes, simply put them in the oven straight from the freezer. Bake them for around 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Because you blanch the potatoes before freezing them, they should be crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy and creamy on the inside.
Top Tips For Freezing Sweet Potato
There are a few ways that you can make sure that you end up with a delicious-tasting sweet potato when you defrost it, all of which are important at the freezing stage.
The most important thing to remember is not to overcook your sweet potatoes when you are blanching them. If you overcook your fries or wedges, they will not have enough structural integrity left once they have been reheated.
You also risk having a higher percentage of moisture in the potato when it freezes which can leave it with an unappetizing texture. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to frozen mashed sweet potatoes.
Another important thing to note is that when you are putting your sweet potatoes into freezer bags, you need to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it.
Leaving air inside the bag can encourage bacteria to grow. This can result in the disappointing discovery that your sweet potato fries have gone moldy in the freezer. This applies to all forms of frozen sweet potatoes.
Freezing your sweet potato fries or wedges on a baking sheet is really important if you are likely to want to defrost only a portion of them at a time.
Freezing them in this way prevents them from sticking together as the moisture in them freezes.
Although it is possible to simply place them in a freezer bag to freeze them, you might be faced with a big lump of sweet potato fries which can be difficult to break apart.
Sweet potatoes are such a wonderfully beneficial food that it is a shame they only grow for a few months out of the year.
Thankfully, it is perfectly safe to freeze sweet potatoes in multiple ways to allow you to enjoy local produce all year round. Just remember to cook or part-cook your potatoes before you freeze them for the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, no. Sweet potatoes, and any other type of potato, have a high water content.
Because of this, if you were to freeze one when it is raw, the water content would expand during the freezing process and decrease as the potato is defrosted. This can negatively affect the texture and even the flavor of the potato.
You should always cook or part-cook your sweet potatoes before you attempt to freeze them. This will help to maintain the texture and the structural integrity of the potato.
The most labor-intensive part of cooking sweet potatoes is having to cut them up before you cook them.
If you are short on time, you might be wondering if it is possible to cut the potatoes ahead of time to allow more time for blanching, cooling, and freezing.
The answer to this question is, yes, you can. It is possible to peel and cut your sweet potatoes ahead of time if this will fit your time restraints better.
However, make sure that you keep them fully submerged in a bowl of water in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
As with anything, there is a limit to how far in advance you can cut your sweet potatoes.
We wouldn’t recommend cutting your potatoes any more than 2-3 days in advance of cooking them to make sure that they are at their best.
With that being said, the closer you can cut the potatoes to when they will be cooked the better.
Keeping them in water will prevent them from drying out, but the flesh of the potato will still be exposed in ways it wouldn’t be if it was uncut.
Although we like to think that we can put food in our freezer and leave it there indefinitely until we decide we want it, that isn’t really the case.
As with any food item, sweet potatoes have a period of time when they can reasonably be kept in the freezer. However, beyond this time, the texture and flavor of the potato can change.
It can also become susceptible to freezer burn.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t keep sweet potatoes in your freezer for more than 12 months. The potatoes will still taste and feel like they should until this point.
With that being said, the sooner you are able to use the potatoes the better they will taste.
If you have had sweet potatoes in your freezer for a little more than 12 months, they should still be safe to eat but the texture might be a little different.
If your sweet potatoes have been frozen for significantly longer than 12 months, there is an increased risk of bacteria growing in them which could be harmful to your health.
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