Saturday, November 29, 2014

Freezing potatoes!

I am sitting down for the first time today, I have been in the kitchen since early this morning, processing pounds and pounds of potatoes.

I still have a ton to do, but those will be saved for next weekend because my back is really not happy at the moment.

Sometimes you come across a really good deal and I know often we think that even though it is a good price, the food will go bad before we actually get around to eating it all.  That is where preparation and freezing comes into play.

We live in a time where nothing should be wasted and with a little effort and time, we can make use of what is at our disposal and prepare a lot of items for eating throughout the following weeks and sometimes even months.

Last week my husband and I picked up 50 pounds of potatoes and some onions too.  It was a very good price.

Potatoes and Onions

I sat down this morning and made a list of what I wanted to freeze, sort of a plan for all these potatoes and onions.

Mashed potatoes
Baked potatoes
Steak fries
Cubed potatoes
Diced and sliced onions

I'm not going to tell you that it is easy or not time consuming, because it is, but it is also well worth the effort and time you put in.

The trick to freezing potatoes is in either blanching or cooking them slightly, unless you're doing mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.  You can't just freeze cut up or whole potatoes because they will go watery and brown and just be plain yucky.

It's actually quite a simple process.

So let me show you what I did.

Freezer potatoes

My family and I love potatoes with the skin on, not to say that I don't peel them sometimes, but a lot of our potato dishes include the skin, besides it is where most of the vitamins and nutrients are kept.

First thing, if you are not going to peel the potatoes, then pop them into the sink and give them a good wash and scrub.

Right......let's make some french fries for freezing.

Freezer potatoes
French Fries

Peel and cut them into the size you want.  Put them into boiling water and blanch them for about 4 to 5 minutes, plunge into an ice cold bath to stop the cooking.  You can also deep frying for about 4 minutes if you want.

Place them on a baking sheet in one layer, season according to taste and place in freezer until completely frozen.  Transfer to ziploc bags. 

Freezer potatoes
Steak Fries

Cut each into lengthwise wedges then toss with some olive oil.  Add seasonings, I did seasoned salt and some garlic with these.  Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray, or some waxed paper with the spray, add the potatoes in one single layer.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool then flash freeze on a cookie sheet.  Remove when frozen and place in a ziploc bag.  When ready to eat, just bake again at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes.

Freezer potatoes

Freezer potatoes
Cheesy, Garlic and Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Make your mashed potatoes according to taste. For these I added in cheese and crumbled bacon too. Allow to cool completely, then place in ziploc bags.

Freezer potatoes

I made two batches and divided the potatoes into the big freezer ziploc bags. I just scoop in there and then use my hand to flatten it out and let all the air out, then close tightly and freeze flat.

Freezer potatoes

You can also make hashbrowns, but today I decided to go with some cubed potatoes which I can use for a number of things.

Freezer potatoes
Cubed potatoes for breakfast, corned beef hash or stews

Peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Put potatoes in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Plunge in an ice bath. Drain well. Freeze using the same steps for freezing french fries. I also added in some diced onion to these.

Freezer potatoes
Baked Potatoes

Make your baked potatoes as you usually do.  Just remember that for these to freeze, it is better that the potato filling remain much thicker than mashed potatoes.  I don't add mayonnaise when I'm freezing them for fear that it will separate and be yucky.  I do add a little bit of sour cream and have never had an issue with that, but I know that some people say it goes watery for them, so use your own discretion.

Freezer potatoes

Once the potatoes are done and filled, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them for about 2 hours.  Remove from the freezer and pack into ziploc bags.

When ready to eat, bake in a 300 degree oven until warmed through.

Freezer potatoes
Roast Potatoes

I cut up the potatoes and tossed them in a baking dish with olive oil, salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder and some dill. I baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

When they were done, I removed from the oven and let them cool completely, placed them on a baking sheet and froze them. If you skip this step they will stick together together. Scoop them into a ziploc bag, label and freeze.

When ready to eat, pop them onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non stick spray, bake at 425 for about 15 minutes or so.

Freezer potatoes

The last thing I made or rather, prepared for the freezer was onions.

I had quite a few that were already in my pantry before we even bought the big bag, so wanted to do something with them before they went bad.

Freezer potatoes

The great thing about onion is that you don't have to pre cook before freezing.

I got a few bags of chopped, sliced and onion rings in the freezer.

With the rest of the little onions I got in the big bag, I am going to dice some more and then actuallyy pickle some onions, which I love.  That will be next weekend's project, along with the rest of the big bag of potatoes.

A lot of work, I am knackered right now, but my freezer is filled with ready to go side dishes which will help a lot during the week.

I do hope this post will inspire some of you to look into buying in bulk and freezing.  When you see a good deal don't be afraid to jump on it, remember that with a little time during the weekend, you can prepare a ton of things to have on hand when you're rushing around trying to make dinner.

Right now it is raining really hard outside, so I've got a pot of potato and onion soup simmering on the stove.  Might as well keep with the theme of today right? :)


Erika said...

Thank you for posting. These are great tips!

Mari said...

I can see this was a ton of work, but how wonderful to have them all in your freezer, ready to go - and saving money!

Celes :) said...

It's raining here too :) Lovely night to read or watch a movie. Thanks for the freezing advice, I don't usually freeze potatoes but I'll certainly give them a try after reading your post. Have a nice Sunday!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Thanks for these tips and recipes.

Happy holidays filled with love, joy and peace.


Kristina said...

One year I cubed and froze them for hashbrowns. It worked great for taking camping. They would stay frozen in the cooler until we took them out for breakfast.

Carrie B. said...

Wow - you weren't kidding when you said you were up to your ears in potatoes! Lol!
Wonderful ideas and tips for utilizing such a great deal and having it work for you for a long time to come.

Bri & Bev said...

You have been busy!! I had lots of left over mashed potatoes... I froze them and I wondered if I could!! I guess they will be ok:)

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

You will have dreams of potatoes!

Anabela said...

Thank you for posting. It had never occurred to me to freeze potatoes or onions. You're right about the initial preparation being fiddly and time consuming, but it's worth it for the savings and also makes it loads easier when the time comes around to cooking them - remove from freezer, bung in oven and Bob's your uncle. Great tip, thanks for sharing. xxx B

Amy at love made my home said...

I never knew how to freeze potatoes so thank you so much for sharing this, it is fantastic!! I do keep onions chopped and frozen ready to go, they are great for things in the slow cooker especially when I just want to dump things in and leave it to get on with the cooking and not have a lot of prep to do. You have worked so hard at all this, but the results will be well worth it I am sure when you can just grab a bag from the freezer when you need it - and as you say, buying in bulk gets some great deals doesn't it! xx