How To Preserve Sweet Potatoes For Long Time Storage - Agrolearner.com
How To Preserve Sweet Potatoes For Long Time Storage

How To Preserve Sweet Potatoes For Long Time Storage

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. Whether roasted, mashed, or baked, they are versatile ingredients that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

However, sweet potatoes are also a perishable food item that can spoil quickly if not stored properly. This is especially true if you have a surplus of sweet potatoes from your garden or local farmers’ market.

In order to avoid wasting this valuable food resource, it’s important to know how to properly preserve sweet potatoes so that they can last for several months.

Preserving sweet potatoes for long-term storage is easy. Start by selecting firm potatoes that don’t have any bruises or soft spots. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil the cubes for five minutes in a pot of water, then drain and let cool. Place the cubes in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. For best results, use the potatoes within three months.

How To Preserve Sweet Potatoes

Table of Contents

Sweet potatoes are root vegetable that is known for their sweet flavor and nutritional benefits. This root crop is known to be rich in different healthy nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

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Sweet potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways, from roasting and baking to mashing and frying, making them versatile and tasty ingredients in many dishes.

In case you have surplus sweet potatoes, here is how you can preserve them for later and future use.

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#1. Freezing Preservation Method

Freezing sweet potatoes is a great way to preserve them for long-term storage. Below is a step-by-step instruction on how you can freeze sweet potatoes:

Step 1 – Wash And Peel The Sweet Potatoes

Start by washing and peeling the sweet potatoes. Cut off any bad spots or bruises, and remove any sprouts or eyes.

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Step 2 – Cut The Sweet Potatoes Into Cubes Or Slices

Cut the sweet potatoes into the desired size and shape for freezing. Some people prefer to cut them into cubes or chunks, while others prefer to slice them thinly for use in recipes like sweet potato chips.

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Step 3 – Blanch The Sweet Potatoes

Blanching is a process that involves briefly boiling the sweet potatoes before freezing them. This process will help preserve the texture and flavor of the potatoes. To blanch sweet potatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the sweet potato cubes or slices. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool.

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Step 4 – Drain And Pat Dry

Once the sweet potatoes are cool, drain them and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help to remove any excess water and prevent freezer burn.

Step 5 – Package And Label

Transfer the sweet potatoes to freezer-safe containers or bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Tag the containers with the date and contents.

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Step 6 – Freeze

Place the sweet potatoes in the freezer and freeze them for several hours or overnight, until they are completely frozen.

#2. Dehydrating Preservation Method

Dehydrating sweet potatoes is another method for preserving them for later use. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dehydrate sweet potatoes:

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Step 1 – Wash and Peel the Sweet Potatoes

Start by washing and peeling the sweet potatoes. Cut off any bad spots or bruises, and remove any sprouts or eyes.

Step 2 – Slice The Sweet Potatoes

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes into thin, uniform slices. Try to slice them as evenly as possible so that they will dehydrate at the same rate.

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Step 3 – Soak The Sweet Potato Slices

Soak the sweet potato slices in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. This will help to remove excess starch and prevent discoloration.

Step 4 – Blot Dry And Season

After soaking, blot the sweet potato slices dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. You can also season them with salt, cinnamon, or other spices at this point, if desired.

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Step 5 – Arrange On Dehydrator Trays

Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Make sure that they are not overlapping, as this can cause uneven drying.

Step 6 – Dehydrate The Sweet Potatoes

Place the trays in a dehydrator and dehydrate the sweet potatoes at 125-135°F for 8-10 hours, or until they are completely dry and crispy. You can also dehydrate sweet potatoes in the oven at a low temperature, but be sure to keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.

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Step 7 – Store and Use

Once the sweet potato slices are completely dehydrated, remove them from the dehydrator and let them cool completely. Store them in an airtight container or bag and use them as a snack, topping for salads or soups, or rehydrate them in water for use in recipes.

#3. Canning preservation Method

Canning sweet potatoes is a great way to preserve them for long-term storage, and it’s easier than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to can sweet potatoes:

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Step 1 – Wash And Peel The Sweet Potatoes

Start by washing and peeling the sweet potatoes. Cut off any bad spots or bruises, and remove any sprouts or eyes.

Step 2 – Cut The Sweet Potatoes Into Chunks

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks that are about 1-2 inches in size. This will help them to cook evenly during the canning process.

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Step 3 – Cook The Sweet Potatoes

Place the sweet potato chunks in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the sweet potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until they are just tender. Do not overcook them, as they will continue to cook during the canning process.

Step 4 – Prepare The Canning Jars And Lids

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare your canning jars and lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sterilize the jars and keep them hot until ready to use.

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Step 5 – Pack The Sweet Potatoes Into The Jars

Using a slotted spoon, pack the hot sweet potato chunks into the sterilized canning jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.

Step 6 – Add Boiling Water And Salt

Pour boiling water over the sweet potatoes in each jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. If you want, you can add a pinch of salt to each jar.

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Step 7 – Remove Air Bubbles And Seal

Use a plastic or wooden utensil to remove any air bubbles from the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place the lids and rings on top. Tighten the rings until they are just finger-tight.

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Step 8 – Process In A Pressure Canner

Place the filled and sealed canning jars in a pressure canner, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Process the sweet potatoes at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes for pint jars and 100 minutes for quart jars.

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Step 9 – Cool and Store

Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the pressure canner cool naturally. Once it is cool, remove the jars and let them cool completely. Check the seals on the jars, label them with the date and contents, and store them in a cool, dark place.

#4. Store Sweet Potatoes

When it comes to storing sweet potatoes, there are a few important things to keep in mind. By following these tips, you can ensure that your sweet potatoes stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible:

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1. Store Sweet Potatoes In A Cool, Dark Place

Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place with good ventilation, such as a pantry or root cellar. Avoid storing sweet potatoes in areas that are too warm or humid, as this can cause them to sprout or spoil more quickly.

2. Keep Sweet Potatoes Away From Moisture

Moisture can cause sweet potatoes to rot, so it’s important to keep them dry. Avoid washing sweet potatoes before storing them, and make sure that they are completely dry before putting them away.

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3. Handle Sweet Potatoes Gently

Sweet potatoes can be easily bruised or damaged, which can lead to spoilage. Be sure to handle them gently when moving or storing them, and avoid stacking them too closely together.

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4. Check Sweet Potatoes Regularly

Even when stored properly, sweet potatoes can still spoil over time. Check your sweet potatoes regularly for signs of spoilage, such as soft spots or a foul odor, and discard any that are no longer good.

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Risk of Preserving Sweet Potatoes

Preserving sweet potatoes can be risky if not done properly. The main risk of preserving sweet potatoes is the potential growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause foodborne illness.

If the sweet potatoes are not stored or preserved correctly, they can become contaminated and spoil quickly.

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Challenges of Preserving Sweet Potatoes

Preserving sweet potatoes can also come with some challenges. One of the biggest

challenges is finding the right method of preservation that will work for your needs.

Each method of preservation has its own set of requirements and can be time-consuming.

Another challenge is ensuring that the sweet potatoes are properly cleaned and prepared before preservation.

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If the sweet potatoes are not washed or peeled thoroughly, they can contain harmful bacteria or chemicals.

Benefits of Preserving Sweet Potatoes

Despite the risks and challenges, there are many benefits to preserving sweet potatoes.

Preserving sweet potatoes can help to extend their shelf life, reduce food waste, and allow you to enjoy sweet potatoes even when they are out of season.

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Preserving sweet potatoes can also be a cost-effective way to enjoy this nutritious vegetable year-round.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium, and preserving them can help you to incorporate these nutrients into your diet.

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Reusing Preserved Sweet Potatoes

Preserved sweet potatoes can be a versatile ingredient in many recipes. They can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and even baked goods like sweet potato pie.

If you have excess preserved sweet potatoes, you can also use them as a side dish or snack.

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When reusing preserved sweet potatoes, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illness.

Make sure to always wash your hands and any utensils or surfaces that come into contact with the sweet potatoes.

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More so, make sure to store the sweet potatoes in the appropriate manner to prevent contamination or spoilage.

How To Preserve Sweet Potatoes Once Cut

If you have cut sweet potatoes that you want to preserve, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s important to make sure that the container is airtight to prevent moisture and bacteria from getting in.

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How Long Does Sweet Potato Last In The Fridge

Sweet potatoes can last up to 3-5 weeks in the refrigerator, depending on how they are stored. It’s important to store them in a cool, dry place, such as the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator.

Make sure that the sweet potatoes are not stored next to ethylene-producing fruits or vegetables, such as apples or bananas, as this can cause them to spoil faster.

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How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last

If stored properly, sweet potatoes can last up to 2-4 months. The key to storing sweet potatoes for a longer period is to keep them in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Avoid storing sweet potatoes in plastic bags or containers, as this can trap moisture and cause them to spoil.

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How To Store Sweet Potatoes For Winter

To store sweet potatoes for the winter, choose sweet potatoes that are free of blemishes and bruises. Cure them by placing them in a warm, humid environment for about 7-10 days. Then, store them in a cool, dry place with good air circulation, such as a root cellar or basement.

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Storing Sweet Potatoes In Fridge

While sweet potatoes can be stored in the fridge, it’s not the best option as the cold temperature can cause the starches in the sweet potatoes to turn into sugar, affecting their taste and texture. If you need to store sweet potatoes in the fridge, wrap them in a paper towel or cloth and place them in the vegetable drawer.

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Sweet Potato Storage Temperature

The ideal storage temperature for sweet potatoes is between 55-60°F (12-16°C). If the temperature is too warm, the sweet potatoes will sprout and spoil faster, while if the temperature is too cold, they will turn into sugar and lose their flavor.

It’s also important to store sweet potatoes in a dry environment to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

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Conclusion

There are several methods for preserving sweet potatoes that can help you extend their shelf life and avoid unnecessary food waste. Whether you choose to store them in a cool, dark place, freeze them for later use, or can them for long-term storage, there are many ways to ensure that your sweet potatoes stay fresh and delicious for months to come.

By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can enjoy the health benefits and culinary versatility of sweet potatoes all year round.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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