When you buy a bunch of sweet potatoes, you don't want to let them go bad. Knowing how long sweet potatoes last, both cooked and uncooked, will help keep you from having to throw them out. After diligent research, we have outlined the shelf life of sweet potatoes under a variety of conditions. See our findings below.
Raw sweet potatoes will last approximately three weeks to a month, depending on the storage method. Once cooked, sweet potatoes will only last for a few hours at room temperature. If stored in the fridge, however, they will last anywhere from three to five days.
These are just general guidelines on how long sweet potatoes last. There is still a lot to learn. Keep reading to find out the best ways to store sweet potatoes for the longest shelf life, how to tell if they have gone bad and if you can get sick from eating old sweet potatoes.
How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last?
Sweet potatoes will only last for about three weeks when stored on the counter. However, they can last up to a month if stored in a cool, dark place with little to no moisture. When cooked, they should not be left out at room temperature for more than a few hours. When placed in a sealed container in the fridge, they will last around three to five days.
Proper Storage Methods
Properly storing sweet potatoes will extend their shelf life. Placing them on the counter is not the best practice. However, storing raw sweet potatoes in a cool, dark area will make them last for up to a month. You should place them inside a loose-fitting bag or a woven basket, increasing the air circulation. Do not wash them before storing them. Any amount of water can cause your potatoes to rot and mold.
You should never store whole, raw sweet potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer. They will become hard in the center and lose their flavor. Instead, slice the potatoes, place them in a container, and cover them with water. Using this method, the sweet potatoes will only keep for about a day.
Even upon slicing, you should not freeze raw sweet potatoes. Instead, cook them before freezing. Using this method, your sweet potatoes should keep for approximately one year.
Freezing Sweet Potatoes
There are a few different ways to freeze sweet potatoes:
Freezing Whole Sweet Potatoes
When preparing to freeze whole sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, wash/scrub the potatoes until clean. Puncture them in a couple of places, place them on a baking sheet, and cook for about an hour.
Once they have cooled, you can either wrap them in foil or store them in freezer bags. Don't forget to write the date on the bag, then place the sweet potatoes in the freezer.
Freezing Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Preparing mashed sweet potatoes for the freezer is a bit more time-consuming than storing them whole. You will need to peel the potatoes and slice them into cubes. Once this is done, boil the potatoes until tender and drain the water. To avoid discoloration, add a small amount of lemon juice to the cubes before mashing. Grab a potato masher and get to work. Next, place them into freezer bags, taking care to date each bag.
Freezing Sliced Sweet Potatoes
Freezing sliced sweet potatoes is another time-consuming act, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean them thoroughly and boil until tender, draining once cooked. Allow the sweet potatoes to completely cool, then peel them and cut them into slices.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the potatoes in a single layer on the pan. Cover and put them in the freezer overnight. The next day, remove the frozen slices from the pan, placing them in freezer bags, and returning to the freezer after dating the bag.
Canned Sweet Potatoes
Canned sweet potatoes will last indefinitely. As long as the seal is intact, the contents are safe to eat. However, the USDA recommends eating canned sweet potatoes within one year of packaging them. After one year, the flavor will begin to decrease, as will the nutrients.
Canned sweet potatoes are not as versatile as sliced or whole sweet potatoes that have been frozen. In general, they will only be suitable for pies, purees, and soups because they become very mushy when canned.
How Do You Know When a Sweet Potato has Gone Bad?
Just because a sweet potato is not mushy does not mean that it's good to eat. Check for discoloration, such as brown or black spots. Spoiled sweet potatoes may also develop growths underneath the skin and mold spots. One of the easiest ways to tell if your potatoes have gone bad is a foul smell.
If your cooked sweet potatoes look, smell, or taste strange, do not eat them.
Can You Get Sick from Eating Old Sweet Potatoes?
You can get really sick from eating bad sweet potatoes. If you only ingest a small amount, you will likely only be ill for several hours. However, if you ingest too much of the rotten vegetable, it could be potentially deadly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Can You Keep Raw Sweet Potatoes?
Depending on the storage method, raw sweet potatoes will last anywhere from three weeks to one month. If left on the counter, they will only last for about three weeks. However, if you can find a cool, dry place for them, your sweet potatoes will last for up to a month.
Can You Freeze Raw Sweet Potatoes?
You should never freeze raw sweet potatoes. They will become hard and lose their flavor. You can slice them and place them in the refrigerator for a day, but don't store whole sweet potatoes in the fridge.
How Long is Cooked Sweet Potato Good for in the Fridge?
Cooked sweet potatoes, if stored adequately, will last for three to five days in the fridge. If left at room temperature, they will go bad after just two to three hours.
How Do You Store Sweet Potatoes for a Long Time?
The best way to store sweet potatoes for the longest possible shelf life is by freezing them. As stated above, don't freeze them raw. Boil or bake them, freezing them either whole, mashed, or sliced. They will keep for roughly one year using this method.
Canning will produce the same shelf life, possibly longer; however, you will be more limited in what you can create with canned sweet potatoes.
Once you purchase or gather a fresh batch of sweet potatoes, you don't want to let them go to waste. By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your sweet potatoes last for as long as possible. Before eating, always check to make sure they are not spoiled. Eating spoiled vegetables can lead to severe illness.
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