Preserve The Harvest: Let’s Talk Sweet Potatoes

Preserve the Harvest: Let's Talk Sweet Potatoes PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES: SWEET POTATOES

Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every month with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money.  A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Sweet Potatoes.

LET’S TALK SWEET POTATOES

Let’s first clear up a common misconception many have about sweet potatoes…they are not yams. Although similar, sweet potatoes and yams come from two entirely different families. Sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family while yams are found to be more closely related to lilies and grasses.  

Sweet potatoes have a variety of colors. Their skins range in color from white to yellow, red to purple and brown. The inner flesh may be white, orange, yellow or orange-red. They are also classified into two categories; firm or soft. Those classified as soft remain soft after cooking and those classified as firm remain firm.

Another interesting note is that here in the United States most of the “yams” we buy are actually sweet potatoes but of the firm variety. Yams can be found but they are harder to come by. The large majority of yams come from Africa, so a good place to look for the real thing would be an international market.

How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes WHEN TO BUY 

Sweet potatoes are available most of the year but are harvested in Fall. Buy in October – January for best quality.

WHERE TO BUY

Sweet potatoes can be found in farmer’s markets, health food stores and supermarkets. Choose organic whenever feasible for best quality and taste.

HOW TO CHOOSE 

Choose sweet potatoes that are heavy for their size, free from soft spots, blemishes and sprouting eyes. Handle gently; sweet potatoes bruise easily.

HOW TO STORE

Do not put sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. It is best to store them in a cool dark place with plenty of ventilation. 50 degrees is the ideal temperature. If stored properly sweet potatoes may keep for up to 3 months. If proper storage is not obtainable, buy only what you can consume in a week or consider freezing your sweet potatoes to preserve the harvest.

HOW TO GROW

The Coastal Homestead has an informative step by step tutorial on growing sweet potatoes in 5 easy steps. If you are looking to grow your own, this is a great place to start. Click here—>How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in 5 Easy Steps

Sun Basket HOW TO FREEZE SWEET POTATOES

When freezing sweet potatoes it is good to take a moment and consider what uses you will be using your sweet potatoes for. Choose either the firm or soft variety depending on your specific need. For example; choose a firm variety for soups and stews or a soft variety for mashed and pureed dishes.

Choose good quality sweet potatoes that are similar in size and shape and scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly before cooking. There are several methods that can be used when cooking your sweet potatoes in preparation for freezing. Baking, boilings, steaming, or pressure cooking will all do the trick. Choose the method that works best for you.

How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes
 
There are several methods that can be used when cooking your sweet potatoes in preparation for freezing. Baking, boilings, steaming, or pressure cooking will all do the trick. Choose the method that works best for you.
Ingredients
  • Cooked sweet potatoes, partially soft
  • Lemon juice or orange juice
Instructions
Preparing Cooked Sweet Potatoes
  1. Allow sweet potatoes to cool completely. If not peeled, remove skins.
  2. Mash, puree, quarter or slice according to preference.
To Prevent Darkening
  1. If sweet potatoes have been mashed or pureed, stir in 2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice to each quart of sweet potatoes.
  2. Dip whole, sliced or cubed sweet potatoes into a solution of ½ cup lemon juice to 1 quart of water.
Freezing
  1. Pack into containers leaving ½ " of room at the top of the container for expansion when frozen or vacuum seal as desired.
  2. Freeze.
Notes
Frozen sweet potatoes will maintain the freshest quality for 12 months or more depending on the packaging. Proper vacuum sealing may extend the storage time considerably.

Previous Posts From Pure Grace Farms you might Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resource links:

Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries

National Center for Home Food Preservation

How to Freeze Sweet Potatoes shared with:

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop; Let’s Get Real Friday Party; FoodieFriDIYSavoring Saturday’s; Sunday’s Down UnderThe Mommy Monday Blog Hop; Tasty Tuesday: Wonderful Wednesday Blog HopThe Wednesday Round UpCreative Spark Link Party; Worthwhile WednesdaysCreate it Thursday; Let’s Get Real Friday Party

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 

Sunday Suppers #2: Simple Pot Roast and Family Traditions

Sunday Suppers #2: Simple Pot Roast

Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world. ~ Susan Lieberman

Sunday Suppers #2 – Simple Pot Roast

Sundays in our home tend to run at a slower pace; mornings are more leisurely. I’m still up at the crack of dawn, but in the back of my mind I know that Sunday is different. Work is kept to a minimum with no craziness allowed on my day of rest.  The day feels different and I like it that way.

Tim and I are trying to start a new tradition on Sundays too. Most days after church we head over to the greenbelt (a trail system around Boise), hop on our bikes and spend time enjoying a little exercise and the beauty of our city. It’s helping us to reconnect and affirm to each other that time spent together is important… we as a couple are important.

This is how I feel about Sunday suppers. A tradition that reaffirms to all that time spent together is worth the effort. The TV can wait, cellphones and computers will still be waiting, all the world can be put on hold as families affirm their value and importance. Time stands still and love flourishes in these special moments. Don’t miss out.

Simple Pot Roast

I love the simplicity of this meal. It is perfect for fall with the homey smells and comforting taste everyone will enjoy. 

4.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Pot Roast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-to 5- pound) boneless chuck roast
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine (broth may be substituted)
  • 2 cups homemade Italian tomato sauce (or 15 oz can tomato sauce)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined cane sugar or molasses
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 8 small potatoes, scrubbed
  • 6 carrots, scrubbed and quartered
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
Instructions
  1. Rinse roast and pat dry.
  2. Cut small slits in top of roast and insert slices of garlic.
  3. Mix together sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and flour and dredge roast in flour.
  4. Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium high heat and brown roast on all sides.
  5. Add sliced onion and wine to roast.
  6. Combine tomato sauce and next 4 ingredients, bring liquid to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
  7. Simmer roast for 1½ hours.
  8. Add potatoes, carrots and celery. cover and continue simmering for an additional hour or until meat is tender.
  9. Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter.
  10. Serve with pan gravy spooned over top.

Recipe adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook: Deluxe Pot Roast

Simple Pot Roast shared with: 

Natasha in Oz: Say G’Day *Snippets of Inspiration: Weekend Wind-Down *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Ducks ‘n a Row: Happiness is Homemade *My Pinterventures: Merry Monday Link Party * Mrs Tee: The Mommy Monday Blog * Create With Joy: Inspire Me Monday *The Ultimate Linky: Bloggers  Brags  *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *Weekend Craft: Creative Spark Link Party Weekend Craft: Creative Spark Link Party *God’s Growing Garden: The Great Blog Train *The Newlywed Pilgrimage: Moonlight and Mason Jars * Crafty Wife: The Wednesday Roundup *The Cookie Puzzle: Party in your PJs

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday Suppers #1: New England Boiled Dinner

Sunday Suppers: New England Boiled Dinner #cornedbeef #realfood #onepotmeal

Some of the most important conversations I’ve ever had occurred at my family’s dinner table. ~ Bob Ehrlich

SUNDAY SUPPERS #1 – NEW ENGLAND BOILED DINNER

One of the the traditions I would love to see make a comeback in our country is time spent around the table at dinnertime. Wouldn’t it be great if cell phones were put away, the TV was turned off and families paid attention to one another? There are many things that have fallen by the wayside in this technological, social media age. It is an easy trap to fall into and I have not been without my share of shortcomings. I want to get better.

… 

Read More »