While showering, people think about sometimes impossible things. A few days back, I had a nice, relaxing shower, and the issue hit me. “How to store peeled potatoes?”
I know that it sounds a bit strange, but wouldn’t it be perfect to peel the whole bag of potatoes, and conserve them for the coming week?
Luckily, this shower question was answered, and here it is how. The other one, “What are snails actually doing? “was unfortunately left unanswered.
Why Potatoes In The First Place?
Modern science can trace potatoes way back to the period between 8000 BC and 5000 BC in ancient Peru. Since then, its nutritious value had proven to be a stepping stone of a lot of cuisines.
Here are some general facts about these little guys:
What Equipment Will Be Required?
In general, nothing special is mandatory for this process. Everything which is necessary can be found in every house, except for the zip-lock bags. Those are, however, easy to buy in almost every store. And of course, you will need potatoes.
Speaking of which, there is not much difference whether fresh-from-the-garden potatoes are used or those which are sitting in the basement for some time. This is an excellent thing because you are not limited to when you will try.
Of course, I can recommend working with your homegrown potatoes, rather than those which are bought in the market. The quality of the first is way better than the latter, and that small difference can mean a lot.
Why Does Potato Turn Black?
One word can clear this question - chemistry. But if you wish to know more (and I’m sure you do), I can tell you that this happens due to chemical compounds within a tuber and their reaction with the oxygen from the air.
Namely, potatoes are rich in sugar, and to be more specific; this sugar is starch. It comes from the group of polymeric carbohydrates. In simple words, the starch is a group of complex sugars, and as such it is difficult for our body to process it.
Therefore the thermic processes we are exposing raw potatoes. The starch reacts when comes into touch with the oxygen and turns into acid. This acid is what colors the potato. Furthermore, if the tuber has been hit in the transport or storage, its dead cells will release melanin, which also alters the color from yellow to dark brown or black.
The most effective way to prevent this is to separate the potato from coming into touch with the air.
Shall We Begin?
First of all, I needed potatoes, of course. So, after a short trip to the basement, I came back with a basket of potatoes. The amount which you will take depends exclusively on you. If you wish only to try out if it is possible, then just a few will be enough. Those who are following my guide without trying, grab how much you are planning to spend for the upcoming week.
Now, peeling potatoes is not a rocket science, or is it? Just remember to watch not to get cut, and in no time, there will be a beautiful bowl of potatoes ready for the next stage.
There are several directions which are branching from this point, and I have run them parallel. You can do the same, or choose the one which suits you better; it is up to you. It depends on how long you wish to conserve the potatoes. In this manner, there are methods by the length of it.
Just For The Night
The shortest way, and together with the quickest, is to cut the potatoes into cubes (if you are not planning on preparing fries), put them in a bowl, pour water, so it covers them all, and put in a refrigerator. You can add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, and this way they can spend the night.
The lemon juice and the vinegar are real stars of this undertaking. Their acidity is what prevents the potatoes from turning black.
Ice Bucket (Not A Challenge)
The second way, which can give you a few more days, is to peel the potatoes and take a large bowl. I tend to use glass one, since plastic, no matter how quality made, just isn’t my cup of tea. Now, after washing peeled tubers put them in a prepared bowl and cover them with ice cubes.
You will notice that there is still space between the cubes and potatoes, and since I have mentioned that the touch with the oxygen should be cut out, we are going to fill the rest of the bowl with water, and cover it. Pour the water until it completely covers the potatoes; not even single part must remain at the surface.
If the bowl has a lid, use it for cover. If not, like mine didn’t, ordinary aluminum or stretch-foil will do the trick. Ultimately, if you don't have either of those, flip a plate and use it as a cover. As with the previous way, you can add some acidic ingredient such as vinegar, so they will not change color.
This way stored potatoes will last for about three days. The ice is there to preserve the crispiness of the tubers so that they won’t go flabby and soft. Keep in mind that it would be great to change the water daily, because of the starch which is deposited in water. The absence of it will make potatoes taste better.
Deep (Not Frying) Freezing
Although it seems straightforward; throw the potatoes in the freezer, the truth is a tad different. There are steps of preparation which must be done, so let’s see what they are.
First of all, peeled potatoes are the best; leaving the skin on will prevent the starch from leaving in the next step. Next, I’ve baked the potatoes for about 10 minutes at 350°F. Notice the low temperature; this is mainly because I don’t want to cook them entirely, just to sterilize and eliminate the starch.
Remember the zip-lock bags? Now is the time to use them. Pack several potatoes in each bag, and watch not to overfill them. If there are more, the closing patent might not seal well, and the air will penetrate the container.
Also, speaking of the air, try to squeeze out as much as possible. The reasons for this are twofold; saving the space in the freezer, and reducing the amount of oxygen which can react with the surface of the potato.
Potatoes preserved like this can last up to three months. If it lasts longer than three months, I’m considering that as luck and a good freezer.
When they are needed, just take the bag out, leave them to sit for a while to defrost, and they are good to go.
Some things are universal for all of the approaches. Always be careful, especially when you are peeling and cutting potatoes. They have hard tubers, and the knife can easily slip from it, causing injuries or damage to your property.
Also, if you are using the stove or the oven, be sure that you always turned it off after usage; saying out loud “The stove is off” will help you not to think later about this.
At The End
Preparing and storing potatoes this way is very easy, as it can be seen. It is a convenient way to reduce the fuss in the kitchen if you are throwing a party. How to store peeled potatoes is something which everyone can do; so there is no reason not to try any or all ways shown here.
As always, feel free to leave your comment, opinion or advice in the comment section below.