Can you freeze potatoes?

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In only a few hundred years, potatoes have gone from a little-known South American tuber to a starchy staple for people all over the globe. The one problem with potatoes traditionally has been their storage. Freezing and thawing whole raw potatoes can damage their cell structure until they are useless in typical potato recipes. There are, however, some ways around that.

Peel 900 g (2 lb) of potatoes, and cut them into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. Cook in simmering, salted water to cover until just tender. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place this in the freezer until it's frozen solid. Transfer the cubes to a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag and keep them in the freezer until needed. Reheat in simmering water and proceed with your recipe. Or thaw them completely and use for a potato salad.

Shred or grate 900 g (2 lb) of potatoes. Keep shredded potatoes in a bowl of iced water until all potatoes are shredded. Spray a baking tray in the same way as before. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and pile mounds on the tray in the shape of hash browns. Freeze until solid, then store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Remove the frozen patties and cook as usual.

Bake 900 g (2 lb) of potatoes until they're done. Cut in half and remove the cooked potato from the shells. Mash cooked potato with cream, butter, spring onions, cheese, cooked ham or sausage or other desired ingredients. Pile the mashed potatoes back into the shells and top with additional cheese and spring onions. Place on a baking tray and freeze until solid. Wrap tightly in foil and place in bags for storage in your freezer. Bake frozen halves on the sheet pan at 180 degrees C (350F) for approximately 45 minutes, or until browned on top and heated through.

Cut 900 g (2 lb) of potatoes into medium fries. Cook in simmering, salted water until half cooked. Drain thoroughly and place in a single layer on a baking tray. Freeze until solid, then transfer to bags as in the previous steps. When you're ready to cook, toss potatoes with 30 ml (2 tbsp) of oil, place in a single layer on a baking tray and bake at 220 degrees C (425F) until nicely browned -- about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them, turning occasionally. Salt immediately when done, then serve.

Make any other favourite potato recipes, including soup. Freeze in containers or on a baking tray until solid, then store in plastic freezer bags. Reheat according to recipe directions, or thaw and finish cooking.

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