Is there any food that’s more versatile and more delicious than potatoes? You can think of several ways you can enjoy these root vegetables, no matter your mood or craving. Add their versatility to their ability to be stored for months, of course under the right conditions, and you have the recipe perfect for your dinner.
However, there is a time you open a bag of potatoes and see some soft, wrinkled little spuds, and you’re wondering if you can still use them? So, here’s a quick answer.
You can still use soft potatoes as long as they are not overly soft and shriveled and don’t have much green coloring. Also, soft potatoes that are not moldy are still safe to use and eat. If you see any small impurities showing, they can be easily removed by a peeler or small paring knife.
For today’s post, you’ll be going to learn whether or not it’s safe to eat those soft potatoes and when should you throw them away.
The straightforward to this question is yes, but depending on how soft they are. If you’ve opened up your bag of potatoes and found a few that are starting to get soft and mushy, it’s best to take them out and do a deeper observation.
If your potato is slightly soft to touch yet doesn’t have any mold spots or an off-putting smell, then your potatoes are still safe to eat.
You may want to cut or peel off the softest spots, but you will not get sick from eating your spuds a little on the softer side.
Just keep in mind that they are no longer at their best quality once they get to this point. You can use your soft potatoes for making mash potato (soft potatoes are especially yummy as a topping in a pie), a baked or twice baked potato, or you can use them in a soup.
Since their flavor may not be the best quality, you can enhance their dull flavor by adding some salt, butter, and fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, chives, or sage.
If your potato has gone really soft and started to wrinkle and shrink, it is recommended to toss the potato away.
At this point, the potato is losing lots of water, though not dangerous, it won’t cook well, and may produce an unpleasant taste.
To sum it up, slightly soft potatoes are still safe to eat, but those that are really soft, you need to discard immediately. Aside from this matter, I’m sure you have other questions about potatoes, when are potatoes still safe to eat, and how best to store them to preserve their quality.
When your potatoes are starting to turn green, it is a sign that they have been exposed to light. When plants, like potatoes, get enough sunlight, they’ll start producing something called chlorophyll, which is green in color.
The green pigment chlorophyll is not bad for you, but alongside the development of chlorophyll, there is another compound called solanine. While it is only found in small quantities, solanine is a potentially toxic alkaloid that can cause digestive trouble and inflammation when taken in large amounts.
For instance, you have eaten lots of potatoes that contain too much solanine, you may experience headaches, nausea, flushing, abdominal pain, and GI disturbances.
The solanine content in the potato increases depending on how long it has been exposed to light and how intense the light is. If the potato tastes bitter, it could be a sign that you should not eat this potato.
Therefore, potatoes that are already green in color are recommended to be discarded. However, if you find that yours has only a couple of small green spots, then you can peel it and cut those little bits of green.
Solanine is usually located directly under the potato skin, meaning it can be easily removed once peeled.
A great way to remove about 30 to 40 percent of solanine is by steaming or cooking the potatoes in water.
So, if you don’t want to waste your green potato, this cooking method is your best option. The main point here is that if you want to remove the green bits, you need to peel the potato before eating. And if your potato is greener than white or yellow, then it’s best if you throw it away.
There are times that you open a bag of potatoes and realize that some of them look like it’s gone bad.
In this case, you are looking at unpleasant, smelly, or visible signs of black, green, or blue mold. If only one or two of the potatoes in the bag are rotten, then you can discard those and move the rest to a clean paper bag or box.
But if you open the bag and there are spots of mold or liquid throughout the entire bag, then you need to throw them all away.
It’s safe to say that if your potatoes are growing any amount of mold, then they’re no longer safe to eat. You can’t just cut off the part that has mold, because the tiny visible spores could be growing elsewhere in the potato.
But what if, it’s just a few sprouts, what to do?
As long as the potatoes are mostly firm, then they’re fine to cook. Potatoes are composed of 80% water, so softness is just a sign of dehydration. But if they are extremely mushy, then throw them right away.
Moreover, small sprouts can be removed with just a vegetable peeler or knife. Long or large sprouts are a sign that the potato has already passed its prime and should be tossed in the bin.
Yes, you can still eat them. Potatoes tend to sprout their eyes when they are kept in a warm, dark environment, just like how they are planted in the ground.
Once the eyes are sprouted, you can just use a peeler to get rid of them, then a small paring knife to cut the root out of the potato. If they are successfully removed, you can now enjoy them.
Keep in mind that if your potatoes grow longer than a few inches, you need to throw them away, or you can plant them directly in your soil bed.
There are lots of veggies that stay longer when kept in the fridge, so you’d be wondering whether or not you should put your potatoes in there too.
The answer is no, refrigerating the potatoes can cause the starches to convert to sugar, which can make your potatoes sweeter.
While it may sound good, it actually ruins the flavor and can cause the potato to turn brown once cooked. Here are other veggies that should be stored in the fridge:
- Winter squashes
- Sweet potatoes
The best way to store potatoes is in a cool, dry place because heat and moisture can lead them to sprout, producing those eyes. Thus, it can fasten the spoiling of the potato.
The recommended place to store potatoes is in a cool cellar if possible, but since most of us no longer live on farms, you need to find a more suitable place at home.
You can keep them in a dark drawer away from the stove, where they can get sufficient air circulation. If your potatoes came in a plastic bag, you may want to transfer them to an unsealed paper bag or box. Make sure it gets enough air circulation to prevent spoiling.
If you want to be creative in storing your potatoes, you can keep them with apples. The ethylene gas given off by the apple can help prevent premature sprouting, thus, extending the shelf-life of your potato.
On contrary, you want to make sure that your potatoes are not stored in the same place as your onions. Onions emit a gas that can cause potatoes to ripen and spoil faster. Therefore, find a separate spot for these veggies in your kitchen.