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How to make potatoes last longer

 

Photo Attribution: United Soybean Board via Flickr

Super Tip Tuesday- How to Make Potatoes Last Longer

Keep Potatoes from Rotting and Forming Eyes with These Simple Tricks

Lately it seems like every time I buy potatoes they seem to rot before we have time to cook them all…and we usually eat potatoes fairly often.  I guess it’s the new house or where I’m storing them but I feel like I’m always wasting potatoes!  Then I learned there’s some tricks to keeping your potatoes fresh and how to make potatoes last longer…some of these things I was doing before but just didn’t realize it!

Potatoes are a great food to keep on hand because they’re fairly simple to take of, cook, and have on hand for last minute meals.  When stored properly potatoes can last for over a month!  So, let’s talk about how to make potatoes last longer…

1. Do NOT Store Potatoes with Onions

Potatoes and onions both release gasses that causes the other to spoil faster.  I didn’t even realize that I was making the mistake of storing my potatoes in the bin right next to the onions…so both were shriviling up and getting all gross together.

2. Keep Potatoes Out of the Sunlight

Potatoes need to be kept in the dark otherwise they will start to turn green.  The green coloration that you see on some potato skins is  chlorophyll developing…. it makes the potatoes bitter and should be trimmed away before cooking.  I like to keep my potatoes in the bottom of the pantry.

3. Potatoes Need Air Circulation

It’s best to remove your potatoes from the plastic bag that they come in at the grocery store.  The plastic bags trap in the chemicals that the potatoes release causing them to spoil faster.  I’ve started keeping mine in a fabric bin but I’ve also heard that using a ceramic flower pot is a great way to store potatoes as well.

4. Keep Potatoes Cool BUT Not Too Cool

Potatoes are finicky in the temperatures that they prefer.  They last longer when kept in cool places but the starch in potatoes starts to turn into sugar when maintained in temperatures lower than 40 degrees.  So even though potatoes need a cool, dry place to stay the fridge is not the ideal location.

5. Do NOT Wash Your Potatoes

Resist the urge to wash your potatoes before storing them.  Although Pinterest tells us that washing grapes and strawberries with a little white vinegar will keep them lasting for weeks the same is not true of potatoes.  Adding extra moisture to the skin of the potatoes can cause them to rot faster.  In fact some people swear by adding a silica packet (those little “Do Not Eat” packs that come in purses) to the bin that you’re storing your potatoes in…they help control the moisture levels without completely zapping the moisture.

6. Store Potatoes in a Layer of Newspaper

I’m not sure why this works but I remember my grandmother always did it!  You just lay a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the potato bin and place your potatoes in a single layer…if you have multiple layers of potatoes then separate each layer with a layer of newspaper.  I guess it also helps to control the moisture levels but it really does work!

7.  Get Rid of the Bad Ones!

One bad seed ruins the whole bunch!  Make sure that you check your potatoes on a weekly basis and remove any that are starting to sprout or shrivel.  Once a single potato starts to change then all of the others follow right along.

8. An Apple a Bin Keeps the Potatoes Fresh

Okay, so I was trying to do a little rhyming thing there but it totally didn’t work.  Anyway, toss a single apple in the bin with your potatoes and it will help extend the life of your potatoes.  Just make sure that the apple doesn’t start rotting or else all of your potatoes will start rotting along with it.

There you have it, my 8 tips on how to make potatoes last longer.  I’ve made all these mistakes before but now that I’m following these simple rules for potato storage I haven’t had to throw away any rotten potatoes!

What tips do you have for keeping your potatoes staying fresh longer? Share in the comments below!

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Melissa loves getting in the kitchen with her two children and teaching them about food, cooking, and healthy choices. She loves hosting events, traveling, and enjoying all life as to offer. Her latest cookbook "Serendipity Sweets" will be available for purchase in the fall.

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