Use a knife to cut … By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. This Southern staple can be a bit tricky to store. Typically, four to six months of storage is the longest they will last. Warm places like sunny countertops may cause the potatoes to sprout. 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. 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. Credit: 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 trendy haircuts you’ll be seeing everywhere next year. Warm places like sunny countertops may cause the potatoes to sprout. Curing is crucial to storing sweet potatoes for winter successfully. of top straw with more boards placed over the apex of the tepee to prevent moisture from running into the pile. You can have homegrown tubers for months past the growing season if you know how to store sweet potatoes after harvest. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. 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. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Southern Living is part of the Meredith Home Group. Harvest the potatoes in a dry period if possible. Earth was gradually mounded over the 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.) After the curing period is up, brush off any dirt that may still remain on the potatoes. 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. Provided proper steps are taken during harvesting and storing sweet potatoes, the tubers should last well into winter. To cure the potatoes indoors, store them near the furnace, packed in boxes covered with a cloth to enhance humidity. 3. Sweet potato storage requires careful curing to prevent mildew and to trigger the formation of sugar producing enzymes. 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. It's second nature to store fresh produce in your refrigerator, but not all of your fruits and vegetables enjoy being chilled. If stored properly, raw sweet potatoes can last for up to a month. 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. Temperatures indoors generally range from 65 to 75 F. (15 to 23 C.), so the longer period of 2 weeks curing is recommended. These delicious root vegetables thrive in warm weather, which is why they grow abundantly throughout the South. Sweet potatoes are versatile tubers that have fewer calories than traditional potatoes and are a perfect stand in for that starchy vegetable. Pack them in paper boxes or wrap them in newspaper and store in a cool pantry or closet. Sweet potatoes are delicious eaten right after harvest, but their true flavors deepen as they cure. Root cellars may also work well, if they are not in a zone where deep freezes are common. Then a tepee structure of boards was erected over the pile and more straw packed on top. Curing is crucial to storing sweet potatoes for winter successfully. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Tom Grill/Getty Images. Try to minimize any damage to the tuber, as it invites mold, insects and disease. This method works best if the barrel is stored in a warmish basement or modestly warm garage. 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Read on to find out how to make sure your sweet potatoes stay fresh for as long as possible. Many prefer to place the sweet potatoes in brown paper bags to optimize storage. Once the curing process has been finished, the sweet potatoes are ready to be packed for long term storage. Once the curing process has been finished, the sweet potatoes are ready to be packed for long term storage. 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. The sand cushions them and prevents injury and keeps the sweet potatoes cool enough while preventing a freeze. Storing in the Freezer 1. Ideal temperatures are 80 to 85 F. (26 to 29 C.) with a humidity level of 80 percent. Boil the sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes. These simple and spectacular Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones. Our grandparents would place the tubers in a situation called banking. Wash fresh sweet potatoes with running water and a vegetable brush. Like sweet potatoes, for instance. 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. Once harvested, sweet potatoes must be "cured", or left to dry in a dark place for several weeks. This required circular beds with foot high earthen walls to be prepared. Slice or mash the sweet potatoes. 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. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! During the curing process, the starches in the tuber turn into sugar, intensifying the buttery sweet flavor and texture of the potato. Fill a large stockpot with water and boil it over high heat. (If this happens, toss them out.). 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