Because of the nutrients and versatility potatoes provide, you can find them in most households. Their versatility is second to none as you can fry, roast, boil, or even use them as a side dish.
Yet, just like other perishable foods, potatoes cannot last in your home forever; you might need to preserve them to use later. At most, your potatoes can last for a few weeks at room temperature. Freezing helps keep your potatoes fresh and ready for use at later times, and they can last for several months if frozen properly.
However, the high water content of potatoes makes freezing raw potatoes not a good option. Instead, most people blanch their potatoes before freezing to reduce the water content, but this process can be time-consuming.
So, the best way to freeze your potatoes without blanching is usually after baking, cooking, roasting, or frying. This is necessary to preserve their flavor and texture.
Below we’ll discuss the different ways you can freeze potatoes without blanching and how to thaw them when you are ready to use them. But first, let's take a look at why people blanch their potatoes before freezing, shall we?
Why People Blanch Potatoes Before Freezing
Blanching deactivates the enzymes responsible for speeding up the deterioration process in potatoes, and it enables you to keep your potatoes fresh for a longer time. In addition, this process protects the texture and flavor of the potato, and it destroys any microorganisms attached to the food.
However, blanching, which involves boiling the potatoes for a few minutes and dropping them into ice-cold water to control the cooking process, is tedious and time-consuming. This is why many people look for other ways they can freeze their potatoes without blanching.
Ever wondered what the difference between roasting and baking is? Learn about it here.
What You Need to Freeze Potatoes
Freezing your potatoes will be easier if you have the right equipment and tools, and they help your food taste better and last longer.
Some of the tools you need include:
You should get containers in different sizes to enable you to freeze various potato dishes.
Ice Cube Trays
Depending on the potato course you prepared, these can come in handy to freeze small portions.
These bags help keep out air, and they help your food stay fresh for long periods.
These are durable, and their multiple sizes allow you to portion out your meals for freezing.
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Ways to Freeze Potatoes Without Blanching
The trick to freezing your potatoes is to cook them to remove some of the water it contains and ensure it contains a good amount of fat.
Cooking before freezing might look like more of a hassle than blanching, but it is a time saver as thawing and preparing them takes less time. The way you freeze your potatoes depends majorly on the cooking of the potatoes. Further, it is advisable only to freeze potatoes at the peak of freshness to help them last longer.
The condition and later plan for the potato will influence how you freeze it.
For example, you cannot freeze mashed potatoes and roast potatoes the same way. Besides, you must ensure that you keep track of all your frozen food to avoid them going to waste. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can freeze potatoes.
How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes usually contain heavy fat portions, like sour cream, cheese, or butter, which helps it freeze very well while preserving its texture through the thawing process. Mashed potatoes can last up to six months in the freezer before their texture changes.
The best way to freeze your mashed potatoes is:
- Prepare your mashed potatoes according to your recipe
- Spoon the mashed potatoes into Ziplocs, freezer bags, or portion-sized containers
- Let it completely cool before storing it in the freezer
How to Freeze Stuffed Potatoes (Twice-baked Potatoes)
Just like with the mashed potatoes, the sour cream and cheese help make them more freezer-friendly. So, the extra fat you include will enable the dish to have a smoother time in the freezer. With this meal, your potatoes are ready to serve once removed from the freezer.
The way to freeze your stuffed potatoes for a quick meal include:
- Prepare your stuffed potatoes using your recipe
- Let it cool completely
- Individually wrap the potatoes in foil or plastic wrap
- Place in an airtight Ziploc bag and freeze for up to three months
You can freeze baked potatoes in the same way, but they won’t last as long because of the lack of sour cream or cheese.
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How to Freeze Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are very freezer-friendly, and they help reduce the time it takes to prepare your dish.
The steps to freeze your scalloped potatoes are:
- Cook your potatoes until tender and browning but not fully cooked
- Let it cool completely
- Wrap the potatoes and freeze for close to two weeks
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Ways to Thaw Frozen Potatoes
There are different ways you can thaw your frozen potatoes, and it all depends on the condition it is in — cooked, mashed, or baked. There are potatoes you can toss straight into the frying pan from the freezer and others that require time to thaw. You should let mashed potatoes thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or oven.
Besides, you can reheat your stuffed potatoes, whether frozen or thawed, in the toaster oven, regular oven, or microwave.
Wrapping It Up
You can freeze your potatoes in multiple ways without blanching, and these methods save you time in preparation time. However, you must check your frozen dishes constantly to avoid spoiling and food wasting.
Related Questions (FAQs)
Can I Preserve My Potatoes in the Fridge?
You should not store your potatoes in the fridge as potatoes require a dry and cool environment. In addition, keeping your potatoes in the refrigerator will increase the sugar and naturally occurring chemical called acrylamide in the potato.
Can I Freeze Any Type of Potatoes?
You can freeze potatoes regardless of their type, but you have to note the cooking time as each type has different timing.
Can I Freeze Raw Potatoes?
Freezing raw potatoes is not advisable as they do not freeze well because of their water content.
Freezing raw potatoes will result in a grainy and mushy mess once they thaw. Therefore, it's vital that you partially or entirely cook the potatoes before freezing.Related: Can You Eat Undercooked Potatoes?