Sweet potato is a lesser-known cousin of the traditional potato we all already know and love. The “ipomoea batatas”, or simply “batatas” as it’s known in many Latin American countries, is a sweet tuber that grows in vines originally found in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and the Orinoco River in Venezuela. It was then spread throughout Europe after the Columbian interchange that took place in the late 15th century.
Just like a regular potato, it can be mashed and served as an exquisite side dish on holidays. They’re traditionally served on Thanksgiving and Fall. Some people add other ingredients such as marshmallows and pecans to serve them as dessert.
Sometimes, you just make too much of it and can’t manage to finish them. So, you start thinking. Can you freeze mashed sweet potatoes? Do they freeze well? And, how long does mashed sweet potatoes last in the fridge?
Mashed sweet potatoes can definitely be frozen. If you have made a large monthly provision of them, then store them in the freezer. However, you might need to tweak the recipe once thawed.
To freeze them, you can toss simple-serving portions into various airtight bags or containers and store them in the freezer. Make sure that all the excess air is let out of the containers to avoid the annoying freezer burns!
It’s also a good idea to let them cool off before freezing. Do not put hot portions in the freezer since there is a chance that the freezer temperature could be temporally affected in a way that could partially thaw other items contained within.
Even though the potatoes will retain their freshness without trouble, the texture of the recipe could water down a bit or become grainy due to moisture and the formation of ice crystals, thence losing its original creaminess, which is why you should probably add some milk and/or butter in the thawing process to restore its consistency.
Unfortunately, these types of recipes should not be frozen again once thawed due to the ingredients they contain, particularly milk and other dairy products. There is a very good chance that they spoil or develop a strange flavor. Make sure to thaw portions that you are willing to eat in consecutive sittings.
If you are planning on using them short-term, then you can safely place them in the fridge for a maximum of 5 days at a temperature of 40º F or lower. If you leave them any longer, there is a risk of food borne illness due to spoilage (the flavor and texture could give that away easily).
Mashed sweet potatoes can last up to 6 months in the freezer before losing quality. Make sure to set the freezer to 0º F or below.
The best way to thaw mashed sweet potatoes is by using the slower method of placing them in a fridge a day before. That way, the ice crystals dissolve and allows the mash to retain a more consistent texture.
It’s not totally recommended to thaw them in the microwave, Nevertheless, if you are in a rush, place them in a microwave-safe casserole or bowl and set the microwave to “defrost”. For better results, stir the mash from time to time. You can also add sour cream, milk, and/or butter while stirring, for the recipe tends to dry out in the microwave.
There are ways to skip the slow thawing process, but they might result in a more uneven mix: