Sweet potatoes used to be prepared primarily as part of a Thanksgiving menu. Nowadays, they are becoming more popular, as people learn they are a healthier option than regular potatoes and can be prepared in many different ways.

Whether it is a pie, casserole or simply a baked sweet potato, you can easily warm up to its creamy texture. Sweet potatoes are also a healthier choice for midnight cravings.

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Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients. The beta-carotene, responsible for the bright orange color of the common variety of sweet potatoes, also gives it excellent free-radical fighting properties, once it gets converted to vitamin A. Other essential nutrients found in sweet potatoes include vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. All of these contribute to a healthy heart and better vision.

Even if you can buy them year-round, their peak season runs from late October to December, so that’s the best time to stock up. But improper storage can make them go bad in just a week, often causing them rot or sprout.

intro how to store sweet potatoes
Learn ways to store sweet potatoes for short-and long-term

To ensure that you get to enjoy your favorite spud a little longer, we bring to you two easy ways to store sweet potatoes for a couple of weeks and two methods to freeze them for year-long storage. Choose the one that serves your need and enjoy the sweet delight up to 1 year.

# Short-Term Storage (1 to 2 weeks)

Method 1: Whole in Paper Bags

The best and most convenient way to store sweet potatoes is to wrap them whole individually in paper bags and put them in a cardboard or wooden box. Paper bags allow enough ventilation to prevent the spuds from rotting and also prevent exposure to bright light. The box will prevent them from bruising. In fact, you can also store your regular potatoes using this method.

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Ideally, you should store them in the basement or a root cellar, but you can also store them in a dark and ventilated corner of your pantry.

Note: Do not wash the sweet potatoes before storing them. The moisture can promote rotting. You can rub off the mud with an old rag.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to store sweet potatoes in paper bags

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brown paper bags or newspaper
  • Cardboard or wooden box

Single-Step Method: Wrap each spud in a paper bag & put them in a cardboard box

wrap each piece in paper bag to store sweet potatoes
Wrap each sweet potato in a paper bag and store them in a cardboard box
  • Put 1 sweet potato in each brown paper bag. Alternatively, you can wrap them up individually in newspaper.
  • One by one put all the sweet potatoes inside a cardboard or wooden box. Do not use an airtight box, as it will promote rotting.
  • Place the box in a dark and ventilated area.

Sweet potatoes stored this way will stay good for 1 to 2 weeks.

Method 2: Cut & Refrigerate in Ice Water

While you should never refrigerate sweet potatoes whole or freeze them raw, they do stay well when peeled, sliced and refrigerated in ice water. They also do not change in color, provided you maintain the cold environment. For this, you will need to keep adding more ice to the container to preserve the color and texture of your tubers.

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Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to store sweet potatoes in iced water

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cold water and ice cubes
  • Airtight container

Step 1. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes

peel and slice each piece to store sweet potatoes
Peel off the skin and cut the sweet potatoes into small chunks
  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly under running water.
  • Peel off the skin using a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into small chunks.

Step 2. Put the pieces in an airtight container with ice water & refrigerate

Put slices in iced water and refrigerate to store sweet potatoes
Fill up a container with iced water and refrigerate the sweet potato slices in it
  • Pour 1 cup of cold water with ice cubes into an airtight container.
  • Add the cut sweet potatoes to the ice water.
  • Seal the container and refrigerate it.
  • Add more ice cubes twice daily to keep the sweet potatoes good.

Sweet potatoes stored this way will stay good for 4 to 5 days.

# Long-Term Storage (up to 12 months)

Method 1: Freezing

If you are an ardent lover of sweet potatoes, it is economical to stock up on them in the fall and freeze them for a year-long supply. Exposing the sweet potatoes to the cold temperature in the freezer will keep them good for 10 to 12 months. You can use the frozen sweet potatoes in stews and stir-fries.

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You will need to cook the sweet potatoes first to stop the enzymatic processes and to retain the color and texture. The same method can also be used to store green peas, broccoli, and carrots.

To store sweet potatoes up to 1 year, you can either boil and slice them or bake and mash them before freezing.

A. Boiled & Diced

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to store sweet potatoes via freezing

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Water
  • Ziplock bag

Step 1. Boil the whole sweet potatoes for 15 minutes

boil the pieces whole to store sweet potatoes
Boil the sweet potatoes whole
  • Wash and scrub the spuds thoroughly to remove all dirt and impurities.
  • Place a large saucepan on the stove and fill it halfway with water.
  • Put the whole sweet potatoes in the saucepan. Make sure that you submerge the spuds completely in water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer on high for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2. Peel and dice the boiled potatoes

peel and slice to store sweet potatoes
Remove the skin of each potato and slice them into small chunks
  • Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the hot water. Let them sit on the chopping board for a few minutes until they are comfortable to touch.
  • Peel the skin off all the spuds with your hands.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into small pieces that can comfortably fit into a ziplock baggie.
  • Allow the diced sweet potatoes to cool down to room temperature before you freeze them.

Step 3. Seal the diced potatoes in a ziplock bag & freeze them

store in a ziplock bag and freeze to store sweet potatoes
Vacuum seal the slices in a ziplock and freeze them
  • Put the sweet potato pieces in a ziplock bag. Make multiple batches if you have a large stock to store.
  • Insert a straw in the corner of the baggie (as shown in the image above) and seal the bag.
  • Suck out all the air from the baggie and remove the straw before you seal the baggie completely.
  • Store the vacuum-sealed sweet potatoes in the freezer.

Cooked sweet potato pieces stored this way will stay good for 10 to 12 months.

B. Baked & Mashed

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need bake and store sweet potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lemon wedges
  • Baking tray
  • Fork
  • Ziplock bag

Step 1. Bake the sweet potatoes whole

bake them whole to store sweet potatoes
Bake the sweet potatoes whole
  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly.
  • Use a fork to poke multiple holes in each sweet potato. This will prevent a steam buildup.
  • Spread the tubers out on a baking tray and pop it in the oven.
  • Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 to 1½ hours until they are tender.
  • Retrieve the tray from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool down completely.

Step 2. Peel and mash the sweet potatoes

peel and mash the pulp to store sweet potatoes
Peel off the skin and mash the pulp
  • Use your fingers to pull off the skin from the baked sweet potatoes easily.
  • Place the flesh in a bowl or cup and mash it thoroughly with a fork.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the mashed sweet potatoes to prevent discoloration. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for 1 pint of mashed potatoes.
  • Mix it well.

Step 3. Put the mashed sweet potatoes in ziplock baggies & freeze them

transfer the pulp to a ziplock and freeze to store sweet potatoes
Transfer the mashed pulp to a ziplock and freeze it
  • Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes into ziplock baggies. Make multiple small batches for ease of use.
  • Seal the bags properly and place them in the freezer.

Frozen mashed sweet potatoes will stay good for 10 to 12 months.

Tips

  • To prevent the sweet potatoes from sprouting during short-term storage, place an apple along with the spuds in the cardboard box in Method 1.
  • Another traditional way to store sweet potatoes is by burying them in layers of sand in a crate. You can then place the crate in your basement.
  • If harvesting sweet potatoes, you will need to cure them in a warm and humid environment for at least 7 to 10 days before storing them away. You can place them in your kitchen near the burner or near a sunny window.
  • Avoid storing sweet potatoes with other vegetables. The ripening enzymes in sweet potatoes can speed up the ripening of other vegetables.
  • Always cook sweet potatoes with their skin on.
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