Root cellars may also work well, if they are not in a zone where deep freezes are common. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Sign up for our newsletter. Curing is crucial to storing sweet potatoes for winter successfully. Use a knife to cut … According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, if the storage space is too cold (below 55 degrees), the centers of the potatoes will develop hard, white spots. Tom Grill/Getty Images. Warm places like sunny countertops may cause the potatoes to sprout. Check the sweet potatoes often and remove any that may start to mildew to prevent the fungus from spreading to the other tubers. If it's too warm (about 60 degrees), the potatoes may soften and shrivel and start to sprout. Provided proper steps are taken during harvesting and storing sweet potatoes, the tubers should last well into winter. During the curing process, the starches in the tuber turn into sugar, intensifying the buttery sweet flavor and texture of the potato. Harvest the potatoes in a dry period if possible. Like sweet potatoes, for instance. This method works best if the barrel is stored in a warmish basement or modestly warm garage. Try to minimize any damage to the tuber, as it invites mold, insects and disease. The base of the circle was covered with straw and the potatoes piled up in a cone structure. (If this happens, toss them out.). Ideal temperatures are 80 to 85 F. (26 to 29 C.) with a humidity level of 80 percent. The key with this type of sweet potato storage was to provide ventilation, prevent water from entering and keep the tubers cool but not allow them to freeze. The trendy haircuts you’ll be seeing everywhere next year. 2. 3. These delicious root vegetables thrive in warm weather, which is why they grow abundantly throughout the South. Learn how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps. However, you can store them in sand packed in layers in barrels or crates. These simple and spectacular Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones. It's second nature to store fresh produce in your refrigerator, but not all of your fruits and vegetables enjoy being chilled. This Southern staple can be a bit tricky to store. Many prefer to place the sweet potatoes in brown paper bags to optimize storage. If stored properly, raw sweet potatoes can last for up to a month. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! The curing process prevents the potatoes from shrinking too quickly as they age and converts the potatoes' natural starches to sugars, which gives the potatoes their signature sweet flavor. Southern Living is a registered trademark of, These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge in 2021, 7 Paint Colors We’re Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2020, 50 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime. Our grandparents would place the tubers in a situation called banking. Watch: How to Make Sweet Potato Pound Cake, Curing must be done in a temperature-controlled environment. Once the curing process has been finished, the sweet potatoes are ready to be packed for long term storage. of top straw with more boards placed over the apex of the tepee to prevent moisture from running into the pile. Traditional methods recommend storing sweet potatoes in sand, but you can also use a box or perforated plastic bag in the right temperatures and conditions. The best temperature to keep the roots fresh is 55 to 60 F. (12 to 15 C.) but don’t refrigerate them for more than a few days, as they are susceptible to cold injury. Curing is crucial to storing sweet potatoes for winter successfully. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Storing in the Freezer 1. Even after they have been cured and shipped off to grocery stores and farmers' markets, sweet potatoes still need to be stored in a place that's not too cold or too warm. You can have homegrown tubers for months past the growing season if you know how to store sweet potatoes after harvest. Importantly, do not store your sweet potatoes near certain other vegetables as the sweet potatoes can cause the others to … Lay out the tubers carefully and let them dry for 10 days to 2 weeks in a warm location with high humidity. If stored properly, raw sweet potatoes can last for up to a month. Read on to find out how to make sure your sweet potatoes stay fresh for as long as possible. It is not recommended to bank the tubers in sand because it doesn’t allow for adequate ventilation. Once the curing process has been finished, the sweet potatoes are ready to be packed for long term storage. Boil the sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes. Southern Living is part of the Meredith Home Group. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Pack them in paper boxes or wrap them in newspaper and store in a cool pantry or closet. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. This required circular beds with foot high earthen walls to be prepared. 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Sweet potatoes are versatile tubers that have fewer calories than traditional potatoes and are a perfect stand in for that starchy vegetable. Then a tepee structure of boards was erected over the pile and more straw packed on top. Your best bet is to keep them in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet, or down in the basement in a basket or a bag. Slice or mash the sweet potatoes. Typically, four to six months of storage is the longest they will last. Sweet potatoes are delicious eaten right after harvest, but their true flavors deepen as they cure. Earth was gradually mounded over the 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.) Traditional methods recommend storing sweet potatoes in sand, but you can also use a box or perforated plastic bag in the right temperatures and conditions. Your best bet is to keep them in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet, or down in the basement in a basket or a bag. To cure the potatoes indoors, store them near the furnace, packed in boxes covered with a cloth to enhance humidity. Warm places like sunny countertops may cause the potatoes to sprout. Credit: Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. After the curing period is up, brush off any dirt that may still remain on the potatoes. Fill a large stockpot with water and boil it over high heat. Wash fresh sweet potatoes with running water and a vegetable brush. Temperatures indoors generally range from 65 to 75 F. (15 to 23 C.), so the longer period of 2 weeks curing is recommended. The sand cushions them and prevents injury and keeps the sweet potatoes cool enough while preventing a freeze. Avoid placing them in the refrigerator, which can affect their flavor and cause them to turn hard on the inside. Once harvested, sweet potatoes must be "cured", or left to dry in a dark place for several weeks. Sweet potato storage requires careful curing to prevent mildew and to trigger the formation of sugar producing enzymes. 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