Keeping potatoes in a root cellar is a common way to store these essential root veggies through the winter, but plenty of people don’t have root cellars! Canning is another option, but that usually takes a pressure canner.
If you find yourself with a lot of potatoes you’d like to store for a long time but don’t have a cellar or a pressure canner, freezing them is a great option-if you do it right. It can be kind of tricky, so here are some tips to ensure they remain fresh in the freezer.
Use Fresh Potatoes
Don’t use potatoes that have started to turn. If you want them to keep fresh in the freezer, use the freshest potatoes you can find that haven’t yet started to sprout or get black spots.
Before preparing them for freezing, cut them up and rinse them in cold water with a little vinegar. This will help preserve them.
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Before freezing, blanch your potatoes in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then cool and let dry completely.
Potatoes usually turn brown or black after exposure to oxygen, so if you can, vacuum-seal your potatoes before freezing. This will keep them in a completely oxygen-free environment and as fresh as possible in the freezer. But if you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can put them in a zip-lock bag with a paper towel and try to squeeze out as much as the air as possible.
Thaw at room temperature
For some reason, if you thaw in a bowl of water in the sink rather than in the refrigerator, frozen potatoes are less likely to turn black. For instance if you are planning on cooking with them in the evening, take them out of the freezer and put them in a bowl of room-temperature water in the sink to thaw throughout the day.
To use your thawed potatoes, just throw in any dish as you would fresh potatoes. They work best in longer-cooking recipes like stews, soups and chowders. You can even use them for mashed potatoes! Enjoy!
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