Items you will need
- Cool spot
- Paper or burlap bag
- Wicker basket
Potatoes have received a bad reputation over the years. While it is true they are high in carbohydrates, they are also high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B6, copper, potassium and fiber. The healthiest potatoes to eat are the fresh ones, and if you pull them straight from the garden they are even better for you, and haven't lost as much vitamin and mineral content. So how do you store the potatoes that are fresh from the garden to maximize their freshness and vitamin content? You can easily do it by following a few simple tips.
Place potatoes in a paper or burlap bag or a basket. Any one of these items will allow necessary air circulation. If the air is not able to circulate, moisture will build up and cause decay.
Once the potatoes are stored in one of the above containers, place them in a dark, cool area. Potatoes are best stored in a cool area where the temperature remains between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In your home this would be an unheated porch or cellar. If you do not have one of those areas, a dark cupboard may be the next best place. Potatoes that are stored in the optimum temperature will last up to two months. The warmer the storage temperature, the shorter shelf life the potatoes will have.
Fresh potatoes do not do well in the freezer, as they will fall apart once they have been thawed. If you have potatoes that are in danger of decay, the best way to preserve them is to cook them, mash them and then freeze them in an airtight container. This way they can be stored for up to twelve months.
If potatoes have been stored in the fridge their starch has been converted to sugar. Let them sit on the counter for a day or two and the sugar will convert back to starch. Avoid storing in the fridge if possible.
Do not wash your potatoes before putting them into storage, as moisture increases the rate of decay.