The mild and slightly sweet taste of sweet potato makes it a versatile vegetable suitable to use in both savory and sweet dishes. Sweet potato can be baked, fried, boiled, steamed, mashed, and even used as a pie filling.
- Types of Sweet Potatoes
- Can I Freeze Sweet Potato?
- How To Freeze Raw Sweet Potato
- How To Freeze Cooked Sweet Potato
- How To Thaw Frozen Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a chunky vegetable so you may find yourself preparing more than you actually need for one meal. That’s no problem because sweet potatoes can be successfully preserved in the freezer for later use, preventing food waste and saving you time and money.
Here is s full guide on how to freeze sweet potatoes.
Types of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato is a large, starchy root vegetable with a slightly sweet taste. Below are the four most popular varieties found in grocery stores, however there are dozens of sweet potato varieties grown worldwide.
Beauregard sweet potatoes are the most common type found in American grocery stores. These sweet potatoes have a purple-red skin and an orange-colored flesh.
They break down slightly when cooked, are sweeter and a bit more stringy than other varieties, making them perfect for mashing, incorporating into desserts, and baking.
Jewel sweet potatoes have light orange skin and are less sweet than Beauregards although both these types are great all-purpose root vegetables. Jewels hold a good amount of moisture and are ideal for boiling, baking, and adding to casseroles.
Garnet sweet potatoes have dark orange-red skin and bright orange interior. Since they are very moist, they are ideal for baking, mash, and mashed sweet potato casserole.
These oblong sweet potatoes have a semi-smooth tan color skin with a white-yellow flesh. They are dense, creamy, and dryer than orange sweet potatoes. Their firm texture makes them ideal for roasting in chunks, mash, or turning into fries.
If a recipe calls specifically for orange sweet potatoes, do not use these white-fleshed ones as a substitute as their dense nature varies in moisture levels and cooking time.
Can I Freeze Sweet Potato?
Yes, all types of sweet potatoes can be frozen raw or cooked. There are a few steps that need to be taken to prepare the sweet potatoes for freezing to ensure they don’t lose any flavor or turn mushy on thawing.
Blanching uncooked sweet potatoes before freezing will prevent the enzymatic activity that causes color and textural changes.
How To Freeze Raw Sweet Potato
Step 1: Peel
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
Step 2: Cut
Cut the sweet potatoes into the desired size. You may want to cut them into fries or chunks. Either way, try to keep the pieces in similar sizes as this affects the blanching time.
Step 3: Blanch
Heat a pot of water on the stovetop. Once the water is boiling, add the sweet potato pieces and leave them in for 2 minutes. Fill a separate bowl with ice water. Remove the pieces straight away and place them in the ice water to stop the cooking process.
Heating stops the enzymatic activity which will slowly cause the vegetables to deteriorate in color, texture, and flavor. You do, however, not want to cook the sweet potatoes and, therefore, placing it in the ice water after 2 minutes is necessary to preserve the firm texture.
Step 4: Dry
Once completely cool, drain the ice water and dry all the visible moisture off the sweet potato pieces with a clean kitchen towel. Excess moisture may cause freezer burn.
Step 5: Pack
Portion the sweet potato slices or chunks into the quantity you may need for a meal and pack each portion into a separate resealable freezer bag. Press all the air out before sealing the bag.
Optional: Flash Freeze
After drying the sweet potato pieces, you can flash freeze them which will prevent them from clumping together in the freezer. To do this, spread them out on a lined baking sheet so that they do not touch each other. This is also a good time to spice them as desired.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until they are just frozen. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and pack the frozen pieces into zip lock freezer bags, pressing out all the air before sealing.
Step 6: Label and Freeze
Label the bag with the date so that you can keep track of how long the sweet potato has been in the freezer.
How To Freeze Cooked Sweet Potato
Step 1: Cool
Cool the sweet potato completely after cooking. Freezing it while still warm will cause large ice crystals to form which will ruin the texture on thawing.
Step 2: Wrap and Pack
If you are freezing a whole cooked sweet potato, wrap it in a layer of cling film or foil. Don’t leave any gaps where air can enter. Then place it in a zip lock freezer bag.
For smaller cooked pieces or mash, divide large batches into smaller portions and place them directly in a resealable freezer bag. Press any air out of the bag before sealing.
Step 3: Label and Freeze
Label the freezer bag with the date and place it in the freezer being careful not to let other items squash the sweet potatoes.
How To Thaw Frozen Sweet Potato
Cooked or raw frozen sweet potato is best thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Remove it from the freezer in its packaging and simply place it in the refrigerator to defrost slowly.
You can also cook the sweet potato from frozen by baking or roasting it in the oven or adding the pieces straight to the meal you are cooking on the stovetop.
Remember to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time to account for the drop in temperature due to adding the frozen items.
Sweet potatoes are delicious in salty or sweet applications. Whether you are making sweet potato fries, mash, casserole, curry, or pie, having them ready prepared in the freezer will save you a lot of time.
Freezing cooked sweet potatoes is pretty effortless. Raw sweet potatoes take a little more time to prepare for freezing but you will reap the benefits when all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven for a freshly baked addition to any meal.
Make sure the sweet potatoes are in good condition before freezing and never freeze items that are nearing their expiry date. Now that you know how to successfully freeze sweet potatoes, you can save time, money and don’t have to waste any more delicious leftovers.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
Image by depositphotos.com/KarepaStock