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What is the best way to preserve potatoes for a long time with minimal loss of nutritional values?

I tried freezing, but the potatoes lost their taste and were unsuitable for cooking.

I tried cutting and drying, but the result was again tasteless.

When I just put the potatoes on the shelf, sometimes they remain good for a long time, but sometimes they rot. How can I lengthen their shelf time, and what is the maximum shelf lifetime I can hope for?

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2 Answers 2

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You could try cooking the potatoes before freezing them. In particular twice-baked potatoes and mashed potatoes take well to freezing.

How to Preserve Potatoes Without a Root Cellar on the Westphoria blog that discusses how to build a container so emulate a root cellar.

You could also experiment with lacto-fermentation, using either raw or cooked potatoes. Fermenting foods not only preserves them, but also generally improves their nutrition by making micronutrients more bioavailable.

  • Here is an interesting technical article about potato fermentation
  • Here are some comments from PaleoHacks on fermenting potatoes.
  • In The Art of Fermentation (p. 230) Sandor Katz briefly discusses potato fermentation. He describes fermenting cooked potatoes with other fermenting vegetables (though there's no reason you couldn't ferment them without the other vegetables).
  • He also references Jenny McGruther (of Nourished Kitchen), she has a recipe for fermented potato chips that demonstrates a basic fermentation technique. The technique is basically to slice the potatoes thin, then mix with water and a starter culture such as whey or a starter culture packet.
  • In The Mind of a Chef, season 1, episode 6 (or maybe 5), chef Rene Redzepi (of Noma) briefly discusses the process of aging potatoes to intensify their flavors, it might be interesting to you.
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+1, also, if you have the equipment, vacuum sealing cooked potatoes/potato mash (incidentally, which you could have previously bagged and cooked sous vide!) goes into the freezer well. –  setek May 2 at 1:44

The ideal storage for potatoes is approximately 42 to 50 F / 5.6 - 10.0 C in a dark space, with good humidity. This is historically what root cellars were for. With proper storage you should be able to get them from one harvest to the next—but ideal storage is rare at home. Nonetheless, at least a few weeks is more than reasonable.

Burying them in clean sand can be effective.

For more information than you ever wanted to know, see this article from Options for Storing Potatoes at home (PDF) from the University of Idaho extension.

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Our substitute for a root cellar is a fridge turned up warm. I ate celeriac from there tonight that went in there in December. A good use for a spare fridge if you have one –  Kate Gregory May 2 at 1:38

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