How to Prepare Freeze-Dried Potato At Home
Of all edible tuberous crops, potatoes are by far one of the most liked species for several reasons: first, because of their high starch and carbohydrate content, they are an excellent source of energy. They are also palatable; rich in sodium, potassium, and dietary fiber; and are easy to prepare in both indoor and outdoor settings. Unfortunately, potatoes are perishable. If you do not store them in well-aerated moisture-free environments, they lose their flavor easily and ultimately rot, as their buds start sprouting. However, this does not mean that long-term storage is impossible. If you freeze-dry them well, you can not only boost their longevity, but also ease storage and retain their flavor for long. Read on to learn how you can do this at home easily.
Step 1: Preparation
To prepare freeze-dried potato at home, assemble all tubers, tools, and material that you will need for the exercises. Make sure that the potatoes you want to freeze-dry are healthy. Next, wash them well to remove dirt and debris and dry them thoroughly using a clean cloth. Next, peel the cleaned potatoes under running water (to prevent browning) and arrange them on a clean aluminum tray ready for freeze-drying. Even though you are at liberty to freeze-dry potatoes whole, it is advisable that you slice them into small cubes or chips, to hasten the freeze-drying process. Finally, arrange potato cubes or chips evenly on your aluminum tray and then proceed to step two.
Step 2: Freeze Drying
Freeze-drying is an innovative process that sublimates water from food, leaving it durable, palatable, and very easy to reconstitute when ready to eat. Although many novel techniques have been proposed, two most effective ones that work well with all types of potatoes are:
Once you have chopped your potatoes and placed them on a clean aluminum tray, a good machine that you can use to prepare freeze-dried potato is your ordinary freezer. Spread your chopped potatoes well to remove clumps and then incubate them in an empty freezer. To prevent the formation of ice crystals while maximizing the freeze-drying process, keep the freezer working at is lowest temperature and its door closed for several days. After one or two weeks, test one slice of potato for dryness. Remove it from the tray, place it on the table, and let it though naturally. If it darkens upon cooling, the freeze-drying process is incomplete. Let the potatoes dry for another week then test.
2. Dry Ice
Another effective technique worth trying when freeze-drying potato is using dry ice. Buy a pack or two from your local store and follow these steps: first, seal your sliced potatoes in leak-proof zip-lock bags and place them in a small cooler box. Fill the box with dry ice, seal it, and incubate it in your deep freezer or refrigerator. After 24 to 48 hours in the freezer check if the dry ice has sublimated and proceed to storage.
Step 3: Storage
After freeze-drying potato, proper storage is essential, especially if you want them to stay fresh and tasty for long. Instead of leaving the bags of frozen potatoes on an open shelf or in an area exposed to elements such as moisture and sunlight, seal them in airtight containers and store them in a clean dry area such as the pantry in your kitchen. You can also leave them in your freezer or wrap them in aluminum foils.