There aren’t many vegetables as versatile as sweet potatoes. They go well with just about anything, be it sweet or savory. And if you’re a fan of sweet potatoes, you probably want to stock up on them to avoid hitting the grocery store too often.
If you’re wondering if you can put your cooked sweet potatoes into the freezer (see also Freezing Yams), the answer is yes. No need to throw away your leftovers when you can save them for later. Keep on reading to see how.
Can Cooked Sweet Potatoes Be Frozen?
Cooked sweet potatoes are a great addition to any holiday dinner, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas (see also Freezing Brussels Sprouts) or even Easter. But as it often goes with family gatherings, there are always tons of leftovers. If you’re left with a large amount of cooked sweet potatoes, the best thing you can do is freeze them. This might be surprising, but cooked sweet potatoes are great for that, because they don’t lose texture and become grainy once thawed. The same can’t be said for regular potatoes.
How Can I Freeze Cooked Sweet Potatoes?
Once the family dinner is over, it’s time to freeze your leftover batch of sweet potatoes (see also Ways To Freeze Sweet Potatoes). But before you do, there are a few things you should know.
The first goes without saying. Your cooked sweet potatoes need to be completely cool before you put them in the freezer. Otherwise, you’ll heat up your freezer and possibly thaw all the stuff in it. As soon as your cooked sweet potatoes cool completely, put them in the freezer. The more you wait, the more they’ll lose in both texture and flavor. If you don’t want to freeze them right now, keep them in the refrigerator until then.
Freezing Whole Cooked Sweet Potatoes
If your cooked sweet potatoes are prepared whole, the best way to store them in the freezer is each potato individually. For this, you’ll need plastic wrap, as we’re about to roll up each sweet potato in a double layer. This ensures that no air gets through and your food is safe from freezer burn.
Once wrapped, put sweet potatoes into a freezer bag or an airtight container that’s freezer-safe. Seal the bag or a container and write a storage date on it. This way, you’ll always know how close to the expiration date your frozen food is. Ideally, you want to put your sweet potatoes in the coolest part of your freezer. This will allow them to freeze at an even temperature.
Freezing Mashed Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes can also be stored in the freezer. The procedure is pretty similar to the one above. You’ll need a freezer bag or an airtight container. Scoop your mashed potatoes into a bag or a container, and seal well. If you’re using a bag, get all the excess air out. This prolongs the shelf life of your sweet potatoes as well as prevents using more storage space than you actually need.
If you’re using airtight containers for storing mashed sweet potatoes, you should grab a plastic wrap too. Before you place the lid on, cut a layer of plastic wrap and place it directly above your mashed potatoes, to prevent possible freezer burns. Again, you should write the storage date on your packaging, to keep track of how long your sweet potatoes were sitting in a freezer.
How To Prolong The Shelf Life Of Cooked Sweet Potatoes?
You can keep cooked sweet potatoes in a freezer for up to a year without them going bad. So yes, you can use your Thanksgiving leftovers for your Christmas (see also ‘Can you Freeze Cooked Turkey?‘) dinner if you’re short on time for cooking. Or, how about next Thanksgiving? While that might be a stretch, using year-old frozen sweet potatoes can work.
The best way to prolong their life is to get all the air out of the packaging. And to make that possible, you’ll need a vacuum sealer. This little machine sucks all the air out within a few seconds, leaving your food without any oxygen in the container. Without air, your sweet potatoes will stay fresh for a drastically longer time.
How Should I Thaw Cooked Sweet Potatoes?
There’s not much to go wrong when thawing cooked sweet potatoes. An optimal way is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight, or until they’re completely thawed. But if you’re short on time, you can speed up the process without affecting the flavor. To do that, put your frozen sweet potatoes into the microwave, on the stove or even in the oven, and the heat will do the rest. After thawing, you should eat your sweet potatoes within three days. And if there are some leftovers, you’ll need to throw them away, because refrozen cooked sweet potatoes are no good.
Cooked sweet potatoes can be frozen both mashed and whole, and their shelf life is up to a year. This means you won’t have to throw away holiday dinner leftovers ever again. Just store them in the freezer until you start craving them.