If you eat sweet potatoes as a vegetable or enjoy them as part of a meal, you need to know how long they last. The shelf life of sweet potatoes is dependent on several factors, including how you are storing them, whether they have been cooked, the climate, and lots more. In addition, it helps to understand how to store sweet potatoes to preserve their shelf life.
Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood because they are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6. This makes sweet potatoes an excellent candidate for our daily meals. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about how to best store sweet potatoes in different forms so that they last longer.
To preserve your sweet potatoes for longer periods, it is an absolute must that you buy the best produce. Here are a few quick tips that will help you at the grocery store:
Fresh Sweet Potatoes can last for up to 2 weeks on your counter. Sweet potatoes thrive in cool and dark areas. So if you have a cool and well-ventilated area in your pantry that you can use, that is the best place to store your sweet potatoes. When stored this way, your sweet potatoes may last up to a month or even two.
When storing the sweet potatoes in your pantry, remember to keep them in a mesh bag or a loosely woven basket that will allow air to circulate through them. Never store your sweet potatoes next to ethylene-producing vegetables and fruits, as that will cause the sweet potatoes to sprout much quicker.
Another essential point to remember when storing sweet potatoes is never to wash them beforehand. Washing means you are introducing your sweet potatoes to unnecessary moisture, and this will just end up causing the sweet potatoes to rot prematurely. Instead, just wipe off any excess dirt from the sweet potatoes and store them in your pantry while still dry. Storing the sweet potatoes this way is the best way to keep them fresh for a longer period.
It is not recommended to store raw sweet potatoes in the refrigerator to elongate their shelf life. Storing the sweet potatoes or any variety of potatoes while raw in the fridge causes the sugar and starches in the potatoes to activate and results in a hard center with an unpleasant taste.
For this reason, it is best to store the sweet potatoes in the refrigerator only after they have been cooked. A better way to preserve the sweet potatoes would be freezing them. Freezing the potatoes gives you a lot of flexibility regarding how you want to freeze the sweet potatoes and increases their shelf life from a few weeks to a good couple of months. You could freeze the sweet potatoes as mash, like french fries, or even cubed up, so they are ready to be used in recipes.
Sweet potatoes can be cooked in various ways, from mash to sweet potato fries; they are versatile and delicious. Once prepared, they will last for a few hours at room temperature, after which they need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Before cooking your sweet potatoes, you must wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to make sure they are as clean as they can be. Use plenty of water and a vegetable scrubber to make this task efficient.
When your sweet potatoes are prepared, and you want to store them in the refrigerator, store them in an air-tight container to limit their contact with the air, and this will allow you to extend its life for up to a week.
One of the best ways to preserve your sweet potatoes is by freezing them. Properly frozen and stored sweet potatoes will last for up to a year in your freezer! And this means a lot of simple meal-prep options that are available at your fingertips.
Remember, sweet potatoes need to be cooked in some form before they are frozen to help retain their color and flavor. And while this means a few extra steps for you when freezing, you will find it well worth it when you enjoy the sweet potatoes throughout the year. If we have tempted you into freezing your sweet potatoes and are interested in learning more about it, check out our guide here.
You can always rely on your primary senses to help you figure out whether the sweet potatoes have gone bad. Since sweet potatoes don’t have a strong scent that helps you identify them, it can be a little tricky to rely on your nose to find out the bad potatoes. However, if any of the sweet potatoes have rotten wholly, they will give off a sour vinegar-like smell that will make it very easy to identify them.
If you notice any discolorations on your whole potatoes that seem suspicious and they seem soft to touch, they have probably spoiled, and it is best to toss them at this stage. Remember, one rotten potato can end up spoiling your entire batch of sweet potatoes. So remember to check on your produce often and weed out any sweet potatoes that have degraded.
If your cooked sweet potatoes show any signs of mold, toss the entire batch. Frozen sweet potatoes last pretty well. However, if you notice any freezer burn or mold, it is best to discard that batch as well.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious vegetable that is versatile and has so many health benefits. It is time that this underrated vegetable becomes a star in your pantry. This blog post will help you get all the information you need to consume this delicious vegetable safely. So the next time you are at the grocery store, don’t hesitate to pick up those sweet potatoes so that you can include them in your next meal.
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