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How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes (or Yams)

You probably take sweet potatoes for granted.  You're there, the can of  sweet potato is there, there's a sweet potato on the label... open it and mix it up with spices to make a casserole or sweet potato pie or candied yams.  Ah, but a sweet potato pie made from a fresh frozen sweet potato tastes so much better than the glop that was processed last year and commercially canned! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. And it is much easier than you think, using my "patented" tips and tricks!

And what's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?  The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission says this:

"Several decades ago when orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional white flesh types. The African word "nyami" referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants was adopted in its English form, "yam". Yams in the U.S. are actually sweet potatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweet potato." " 

Directions for Freezing Sweet Potato

Ingredients and Equipment

  • sweet potatoes (see step 1)
  • A sharp, large serrated knife
  • Freezer bags or containers

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Choose your sweet potatoes

Choose medium to large sweet potatoes that have been cured for at least one week (they're sweeter).  Select sound, firm roots. For the most food value, choose sweet potatoes of a deep orange color.

Handle them carefully to prevent bruising. Ideal storage conditions are a dry, unrefrigerated area at 55 to 60 degrees F. Do NOT refrigerate, because temperatures below 55 degrees F. will chill it, giving it a hard core and an undesirable taste when cooked.

Sort according to size and wash.

Step 2 - Cook the sweet potatoes

Cook until almost tender using any one of the following methods:

  • in water,
  • in steam,
  • in a pressure cooker or
  • in the oven.

Cook them until they are partially soft (about 15 to 20 minutes in fully boiling water).

Step 4 - Cool

Let stand at room temperature until cool.

Step 5 - Peel

Peel the sweet potatoes, cut in halves, slice or mash. (mashing is ok for freezing, just not canning)

Step 6 - Avoid darkening

If desired, to prevent darkening, dip whole sweet potatoes or slices for 5 seconds in a solution of 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1 quart water.

To keep mashed sweet potatoes from darkening, mix 2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice with each quart of mashed sweet potatoes.

Step 7 - Pack

Pack into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. You can pack it containers, like Ziploc bags or plastic containers, exclude as much air as you can, and freeze it!

Step 8 - Freeze

Seal and freeze.

... or to start making tasty treats.

Freezing keeps sweet potatoes safe to eat almost indefinitely, but the recommended maximum storage time of 12 months is best for taste and quality. The quality of the frozen sweet potatoes is maintained best in a very cold freezer (deep freezer), and one that keeps them frozen completely with no thaw cycles. Excluding any air from inside the bags which leads to freezer burn, by using vacuum-sealed bags, is also important to maintaining quality.

Sweet potato facts

1 small, baked in skin ...............................141 calories
3 1/2 ounces, candied................................168 calories
3 1/2 ounces, canned, syrup pack.........114 calories

Sweet Potato recipes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons butter

Scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly. Drop them in enough boiling salted water to cover sweet potatoes. Cover pan. Lower heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Put into buttered baking dish. Combine sugar, water and butter. Boil 2-3 minutes, then pour over cooked, sliced sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Spoon syrup over sweet potatoes several times while baking. Lemon juice or lemon slices on top of sweet potatoes while baking will improve flavor and help retain their bright color. Yield: 6 servings

Sweet Potato Pie, with a crushed pecan topping

(Makes one 9-inch pie)

1 (9 - inch) unbaked pastry shell
1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes (yams!), cooked and peeled
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 (14 - ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Pecan Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixer bowl, beat hot sweet potatoes with margarine until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except pastry shell and Pecan Topping; mix well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven; spoon Pecan Topping evenly over top. bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool. Serve warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.

Pecan Topping: In small mixer bowl, combine 1 egg, 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup, 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon margarine or butter, melted, and teaspoon maple flavoring; mix well. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.

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Home Canning Kits

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!



Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book