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Somehow, over the last year, sweet potatoes have made their way into my diet as a staple. They’re easy. They’re versatile. You can eat them plain like a baked potato, or hide them in other recipes. And of course, they’re cheap. Unfortunately, they usually take a long time to cook, no matter how you choose to do it.
Did you know you can freeze sweet potatoes? Freezing them makes it easy to prepare large batches in advance, include only what you need in a recipe, and pop out single servings for a quick dinner.
5 easy ways to cook and freeze sweet potatoes
1. Baked Sweet Potatoes
I’ve tried several different methods for baking sweet potatoes but I think this method gives the best results.
Preheat oven to 400. Wash the potatoes and jab a few ventilation holes into each one with a fork. While the potatoes are still wet (you may need to rinse them off again), wrap each one individually in foil. Place on a pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. They are ready when you can squish them and they feel soft.
To freeze, unwrap, wipe them off with a wet towel, and allow them to cool and dry off. Place potatoes in a ziplock bag. When you’re ready to eat, let them thaw in the fridge overnight. In a pinch, you can microwave one under an inverted bowl which will help to steam rather than cook it.
2. Boiled Sweet Potatoes
Boiling sweet potatoes is a great way to get large tender pieces, unlike baking them where you are virtually forced to eat them with a spoon. Boil them with the skin on or off, it’s just a matter of personal preference. You can also leave them whole or cut them up. You have lots of options here.
Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. If pre-chopped, you will need to cook them for 15-20 minutes post boil. If left whole, boil for 10 minutes, poke a few holes in the potatoes with a fork or a paring knife, then boil for an additional 20 minutes. Either way you chose, you will know they are ready when you can easily pierce them with a fork.
Drain the pot by emptying it into a colander. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool before handling.
To freeze, once the potatoes have come to room temperature, you have two options. You can either place them in a ziplock back as is, or you can dip them in lemon juice first. The juice will help to preserve the sweet potatoes’ color.
3. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
To cook mashed sweet potatoes, either bake or boil them as described in the directions above – whatever floats your little boat. Once they’ve cooked and cooled, you again have lots of options: mash with a potato masher or fork, or whip with a hand mixer. You can leave them as is, or add flavorings such as brown sugar, butter, or spices.
Freeze by filling ziplock bags, or by using an ice cream scoop to portion individual servings onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer the scoops to a ziplock bag once they’ve frozen.
4. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasting sweet potatoes is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. I love them with just olive oil and salt, but you can easily add other spices and flavors. Roasted potatoes are perfect for meal prep or Buddha bowls.
Prepare your raw potatoes by slicing, dicing, or wedging them (or cut into any other shape that strikes your fancy). For savory potatoes, toss lightly with olive oil, then stir in spices of choice and salt. If you prefer your potatoes on the sweeter side, toss with maple syrup or honey and a little bit of cinnamon.
Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie pan. If you’re going the savory route, 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until browned and soft. If you’re on Team Sweet, bake at 375 for the same amount of time. You don’t want the honey or syrup to burn.
To freeze, let come to room temperature, then place in ziplock bag and freeze.
5. Spiralized Sweet Potatoes
Spiralizers magically turn fruits and vegetables into noodles. Unlike soggy zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles hold their shape and texture as they cook. I particularly like using them in Asian inspired dishes. I spiralize them and then throw them into the pan with my other ingredients or sauce and let them soften slightly.
Freezing is just as easy. Simply spiralize and freeze raw. They go from freezer to frying pan, no need to thaw first. For extra ease, freeze in single serving portions.