Selecting and Storing Sweet Potatoes

It's sweet potato time! 

Before you begin stocking up on your favorite variety, be sure you understand how to properly store your sweet potatoes. 

Sweet potatoes look tough, but once bruised or invaded by decay organisms, they will deteriorate very rapidly. So it's important that you begin with near perfect sweet potatoes. 

Purchase your sweet potatoes loose rather than prepackaged so that you may carefully inspect each one for defects. Look for smooth, unbroken skin. Reject any sweet potatoes with shriveled, soft, or sunken patches since one damaged spot will affect the taste of the entire sweet potato.

If you have a cool area in your home, basement, or garage, a temperature of 45 to 50 degrees is ideal. Sweet potatoes may keep up to two months under these temperatures. 

If you live in a warmer climate, however, you will need to be careful not to purchase more than you can use in a short time. Under normal household temperatures, plan to keep them no longer than a week. Beyond that time, they will begin to shrivel and soften. 

Storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator is not recommended because the low temperature will alter the taste, often making them bitter. Once cooked, however, sweet potatoes may be refrigerated up to five days.

Subscribe to The Prudent Pantry and you'll never miss a post.

images via North Carolina Sweet Potatoes