Sweet potatoes bring wonders to the table because of the many ways you can prepare it for a meal or a snack.
Bought a basket of these sweet spuds but have no idea how to store sweet potatoes and keep them fresh?
We’ve got your back.
How to store sweet potatoes? Recently-harvested sweet potatoes should be left to cure in a warm place for 10 days to two weeks. Curing draws out excess moisture and gives the tubers enough time to mature its flavors. After the curing process, store sweet potatoes in a dark, cool, and dry place, and wash them only right before consuming. Only freeze sweet potatoes after cooking.
To better understand how to extend the shelf life of sweet potatoes, let’s look at the average storage durations based on the best practices.
How long can you store sweet potatoes?
Raw sweet potatoes can last up to two weeks when stored on the counter at room temperature.
You can keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a root cellar or a basement, for up to three to five weeks.
Store cooked sweet potatoes in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for several months.
Ways on How to Store Sweet Potatoes
Depending on the time of harvest, there are different ways to store sweet potatoes.
If you are sure that the sweet potatoes you just bought are fresh from the farm, you will want to cure them.
Curing allows for converting starch into sugar within the tubers. It also toughens up the outer layer of the whole root.
For best results, consider following these steps:
- Do not wash freshly-harvested sweet potatoes. This will contribute to faster bruising or spoiling; instead, remove dirt with a piece of cloth or a soft brush.
- Put the sweet potatoes in a warm room with a temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity. Let them sit there for up to one and a half weeks.
- Otherwise, wrap each sweet potato in plastic bags and leave them under the sun for up to five days if you want to speed up the process.
Without curing and cooking, it is not advisable to store sweet potatoes in the fridge.
Else, you will end up with sweet potatoes with an inconsistent flavor, color, and sweetness throughout each root.
It is always better to keep cured sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, and dry place, preferably in just one layer and not touching one another.
Don’t have a cellar or a basement?
Store them at room temperature following these steps:
Step 1: Discard sweet potatoes that are bruised and have mold and mildew on them, as they will only make the good ones spoil faster.
Step 2: Tear up some newspaper pages into smaller pieces just enough to wrap around a single tuber.
Step 3: One by one, wrap the vegetables with the newspaper and put them in a basket inside your pantry away from other produce.
Step 4: Alternatively, put up to three regular-sized tubers each in brown paper bags if you don’t have newspapers.
Wrapping in newspapers or brown paper bags provides good air circulation and, therefore, longer shelf life.
The inside of a fridge may be too dry and too cold for storing raw sweet potatoes. Also, the enclosed space does not allow for air circulation.
These circumstances could turn your sweet potatoes into hard, tasteless starch. You’d be better off just throwing them away if this happens.
It is always advisable to store sweet potatoes in the fridge after you’ve cooked them.
Keep sliced or mashed sweet potatoes in the fridge for at least five days.
Here are the steps for preparing and boiling sweet spuds:
Step 1: Wash fresh sweet potatoes thoroughly in running water and remove attached dirt with a soft vegetable brush.
Step 2: Fill a stockpot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Step 3: Peel your sweet potatoes while waiting for the water to boil.
Step 4: Drop the tubers into the boiling water, and let them boil for at least 15 minutes or until tender.
Step 5: Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and drain them.
Step 6: If you’re going to slice them, slice along the short side of the spuds into portions not thicker than half an inch. Otherwise, mash them in a bowl.
Step 7: Cool the sliced or mashed sweet potatoes down to room temperature and put them in sealed containers before putting in the fridge.
You can also do this with steamed or baked sweet potatoes as long as you keep them stored properly in sealed containers.
Just be sure to cool down the baked spuds before putting them in the fridge and consume them within a few days.
If you want these cooked sweet spuds to last longer, you can always store them in the freezer.
Provided that you prepared and cooked them properly, and given that you placed them in sealed containers, they can last in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Storing raw sweet potatoes in the freezer causes the tubers to break down and lose both flavor and nutrients, so be sure to cook them first!
Can you store sweet potatoes and potatoes together?
Although they come from different plant families, potatoes and sweet potatoes are classified as root vegetables, which means they both grow underground.
You can store potatoes with sweet potatoes as long as you place them in a cool, dark place.
The recommended storage procedure for sweet potatoes is dependent on how far along the root crop is from the time of harvest.
Wherever you plan to purchase your sweet potatoes, make it a habit to inquire about actual harvest time and curing practices.
With this information, you can decide if you still have to cure your spuds before storing them.
Avoid storing your sweet potatoes in the fridge or freezer if you haven’t cooked them yet.
Check out many available recipes for cooking and preparation before putting them in the fridge or freezing them for year-round use.