This past winter, I received a box of Idaho potatoes as a gift. Some people may think getting potatoes is a lame gift, but I think it is an awesome gift! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get through all of the potatoes before they started to grow eyes on them. I used a bulk of the potatoes in breakfast hashes, soups, baked potatoes, and other recipes. Even with using them throughout the winter, I didn’t get through the whole box! I don’t like to waste food, so I had two options: can the potatoes or freeze-dry the potatoes. I decided to freeze dry!
How can you preserve food?
I have a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that I am in love with. This is my favorite food preservation tool that I have purchased. I love my canner and vacuum sealer, but my freeze dryer has a dual-purpose for me: it warms up my house AND creates moisture-free food that can be stored for up to 30 years.
How do you preserve potatoes?
The best ways to preserve potatoes for long term are to can them or freeze dry them! Canning creates shelf-stable potatoes ready to be used for mash potatoes or soups. Freeze drying potatoes will result in potatoes that have to be re-hydrated with water. You can freeze dry potatoes in cubes or as prepared mash potatoes. I prefer freeze-drying because it is less hands-on required from me, whereas canning can take a bit of time and hands-on.
How do you freeze dry food?
The process for freeze-drying looks like this:
- Start up the freeze dryer.
- Wait 15 minutes for the freeze dryer to warm up, load up the trays with food, and place the trays into the freeze dryer.
- Click “continue” and wait for it to be done!
- When the freeze-drying is done, take the food out of the freeze dryer and preserve it with mylar bags and oxygen absorbers or vacuum seal into a jar.
- To rehydrate the freeze-dried food, soak in water until fully rehydrated.
Freeze-drying is that simple! And that is why I chose it for preserving my excess potatoes.
Potatoes being scooped onto tray picture
How do you make mashed potatoes?
The easiest way to freeze dry potatoes is to pre-make mashed potatoes and then freeze-dry them in mashed form. This will save you the extra step in the future of having to put together mashed potatoes from plain freeze-dried potatoes. This way, you can have a meal ready to go simply by rehydrating the freeze-dried mashed potatoes.
I started by peeling and cubing the potatoes then boiling them in water until they were tender and a fork pierced them easily. I strained them and added them to a standing mixer where I added in 1 stick of butter and about 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and mixed it in until the butter was melted. I dashed in some salt and pepper to taste and adjusted the mashed potatoes to my liking. For freeze-drying mashed potatoes, you will want to make your favorite recipe of mashed potatoes so you don’t have to adjust anything when you rehydrate them.
You will need to let the mashed potatoes cool in the fridge or freeze before freeze-drying. If you warm food into the freeze-dryer this will make the freeze dryer work harder and will take more time in the process.
How do you freeze dry mashed potatoes?
How do you freeze dry potatoes?
You can either make up your favorite mashed potato recipe and put them into the freeze dryer or you can cube up potatoes and place those into the freeze dryer and then season and use for a recipe later.
How do you use mylar bags?
I put the mashed potatoes into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and they went into my long term storage. Mylar bags come in different sizes and the different sizes will need different CCs of oxygen absorbers. I used gallon sized mylar bags with 300cc oxygen absorbers. For a complete chart and guide on how to build your food storage, check out my food storage downloadable bundle here.
I love having a variety of foods in my food storage, so I don’t end up just eating canned beans in an emergency. I want to be able to have my homemade mashed potatoes! Let’s get freeze-drying!