Nutritious, flavorful sweet potatoes are available year-round, and there are few vegetables as versatile. They can be baked whole or used in savory dishes like gratins, breads and biscuits, and casseroles. Sweet potatoes also make delicious desserts. Sweet potato pies, moist cakes, muffins, and sweet potato cookies are just a few examples.
Stock up in the fall when prices are lowest and freeze them sliced, diced, baked, or mashed.
If your sweet potatoes are very fresh, cure them for about 1 week for best flavor. To cure them, keep them in a well-ventilated room at around 80 F and about 90% to 95% relative humidity.
How to Freeze Boiled Sliced or Diced Sweet Potatoes
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes and put them in the boiling water.
- Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they just begin to be tender but are still quite firm. Large sweet potatoes will take longer than medium.
- Remove the sweet potatoes and let them stand at room temperature until cooled.
- When cool enough to handle, peel and slice or dice.
- Put the sweet potatoes in freezer storage bags. Remove as much of the air from the bags as possible. If you don't have a vacuum sealing system, try the straw method. Close the bag, leaving just enough of an opening for a straw, then suck out as much air as you can. Finish closing the bag and freeze.
- Freeze for up to 12 months.
- Use frozen sliced or diced sweet potatoes in lentils or stews, or in recipes with brown sugar or syrup, such as candied sweet potatoes.
How to Freeze Baked or Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Heat the oven to 375 F. Place a large baking pan or heavy duty foil on the floor or bottom rack of the oven.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, poke them in a few places with a fork, and place on the rack in the preheated oven.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Let the potatoes cool for about an hour in the oven. At this point, you can wrap the cooled sweet potatoes in foil and transfer them to freezer bags to freeze whole.
- For mashed, take the cooled sweet potatoes out of the oven, slip the skins off, and put the flesh in a large bowl.
- Beat the sweet potatoes until smooth. You can add a tablespoon of lemon juice for each 1 pint of sweet potatoes if you wish. Lemon juice helps prevent browning, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
- Pack the sweet potato mixture into bags; flatten the bag to remove as much air out as possible.
- Freeze the sweet potatoes for up to 12 months.
- Add honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners to frozen mashed sweet potatoes or used them in sweet potato casserole, bread or biscuits, puddings, cakes, or sweet potato pie.
- To reheat whole baked sweet potatoes, remove the foil. Rewrap them in a new sheet of foil and bake in a 350 F oven for about 25 to 35 minutes. Split and add a little butter and cinnamon sugar for serving.
- Cook sweet potatoes with the skin on unless the recipe directs otherwise. The skin is easily removed once the potatoes are cooked. If they're organic sweet potatoes, you could even eat the skin!
- Peeled sweet potatoes will darken when exposed to air, so they should be cooked immediately after you take them out of the freezer. If you can't cook them immediately keep them immersed in cold water or dip in a solution of 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixed with 1 quart of water until you're ready to cook them.