Jul 6, 2023
Storing a good batch of sweet potato is not as simple as it seems. You can’t keep it in the fridge because it will turn hard in the center with an unpleasant taste. You can’t place them with other produce like tomatoes, onions, and apples. They also take away space better meant for meats, fish, and seafood in the freezer. So, here’s how to freeze dry sweet potato for shelf-stable food that will still taste as good as fresh ones.
People often mistake yam and sweet potato; some even think they’re identical. But there are differences between this tuber and root crop.
Yam is starchy and almost tastes like a regular potato. Since it’s a tuber, it’s got a long, cylindrical shape. The skin is rough, scaly, and almost brown – sometimes almost bark-like. For the flesh, the color can be off-white, red, or purple.
Sweet potato, on the other hand, has a sweeter taste. Since it’s a root crop, it’s shorter, usually with tapered ends and a bulging middle. The skin can be light brown, red-brown, or reddish. The sweet flash can also be white to dark orange in color.
There are several sweet potato varieties you can choose from:
When buying sweet taters, whether in the grocery or farmer’s market, choose small to medium sizes. The skin should be smooth, with no bruises or cracks. Don’t pick the ones that are already sprouting.
Cleaning is necessary if you got whole, fresh sweet potatoes from the grocery or farmer’s market. Wash the taters under running water and use a vegetable brush to remove all the dirt carefully. Continue to wash until the water runs clean. Peel each of your veggies and prep them as you wish.
You can cut the sweet potato in different ways for freeze-drying. If you want chips, you can use a slicer, a sharp knife, a food processor, or a slicer attachment to your mixer.
Cubes are also good and can be great for making mash. Cut the sweet potato evenly, whether small or big. Wedges are also good if you want to make sweet potato fries. Just make sure that the cubes or wedges don’t go thicker than 3/4 of an inch. Thicker food is harder to freeze dry and can ruin your batch during storage.
Put your sliced or cubed taters while prepping your batch. This helps remove the excess starch and also keeps your veggies from browning.
Just like with regular potatoes, you need to blanch your sweet spuds. If you don’t, your vegetable will come out dry and close to inedible, even if you rehydrate and cook it.
Slices can go for 3 minutes in boiling water since they’re thin. The sweet potato cubes and wedges can cook them until tender, which is about 5 -10 minutes.
After blanching or cooking, shock the potatoes in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. After shocking, drain the potatoes on clean kitchen towels. Take out all the excess moisture because this will make your spuds stick together.
If you want a different texture or flavor, you can also make a batch of roasted sweet potato. This method enhances the taste of the root crop without introducing unnecessary moisture. You can season the sweet potato with the spice you like to add flavor. If you do, your sweet taters will come out good for snacking as-is.
After seasoning, roasting can take 30-35 minutes. This will be enough to make everything tender and tasty. Don’t use oil because that will make it hard to remove moisture.
This is optional, and it’s totally fine if you don’t go for this. However, it does help with the process, especially if you blanch or boil your batch.
They’d have some extra moisture if you cook the sweet potato cubes or slices in water. Better to pre-freeze on the freeze dryer trays. They’ll be difficult to take out if you freeze them in a different container.
When you deep freeze your spuds for at least 8 hours, remember to let your machine pre-cool to -8°F (-22 °C) or lower. This will create a stable environment and
Freeze-drying sweet potato is easy when you use a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
Freeze-drying your potatoes can take 19-45 hours. Slices freeze dry faster, while cubes and wedges take longer.
Two popular options for storing freeze-dried sweet potatoes are Mason Jars and Mylar bags.
These jars are tough and work well to keep moisture and air out of your food. They’re also reusable and easy to reseal, making them ideal for on-demand use. A simple pump is enough to create a vacuum seal that can help store your food for years.
On the other hand, they’re fragile, bulky, and heavy. A minute chip on the lip is also enough to ruin your freeze-drying efforts.
These are the go-to for many people who are serious about their food storage. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, and don’t take up a lot of space. If you want to bring your freeze-dried potato on trips, you don’t have to worry about baggage weight and space.
However, they’re easy to puncture and tear when mishandled. You also have to dispose of them once you open the bag, especially if you use small ones.
Whatever you use, remember to use oxygen absorbers. 1-2 of the 300cc packets are good for every gallon size of your container. Replace the packets, too, each time you open them.
Freeze-dried sweet potatoes can last you 25 years or more when stored properly. Keep the jars and bags away from light, heat, and moisture. The room should be less than 72°F (22 °C), with a relative humidity level of 15% or less.
Eating freeze-dried sweet potato as-is is just like eating crispy chips. As you snack on it, you get this burst of sweet carbs that can be satisfying yet addicting. It’s easy to cook with since there’s less prepping and cooking involved.
What variety of sweet potato do you plan to freeze dry? Let us know in the comment section.
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