Can you eat sprouting sweet potatoes?
Hearing others say it’s perfectly safe to eat sprouting sweet potatoes or sprouted potatoes are no longer suitable for consumption is perplexing.
Generally, raw sweet potatoes start to sprout when you leave them in the pantry for an extended period.
Others warn that a sprouted sweet potato is unsafe to eat, as it could cause food poisoning and be detrimental to life.
On the other hand, some assert that removing sweet potato sprouts makes them safe to consume. With contrasting opinions, you end up contemplating which claim is correct!
Read the post below to clarify which claim you should go for.
Why Can’t People Resist Potatoes?
Potatoes, in general, are versatile and nutrient-packed produce, allowing you to cook them in various ways.
As tiny spuds, they are a rich source of essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber, promoting better health.
Still and all, while potatoes are suitable for safe consumption, they commonly contain organic toxins that, if they accumulate, can make you unwell or put your life in danger.
For this reason, it’s advisable to scrutinize the appearance of your mature sweet potato, especially when you’ve stored it for quite some time.
What Causes Potatoes to Sprout?
More often than not, the way you store potatoes urges them to begin sprouting distantly from the soil.
Potatoes need sufficient moisture and darkness, which is why storing them in your pantry, makes them instantly sprout.
Nonetheless, you can still use a sprouted potato but ensure that you get rid of the slips and sprouts and cook them thoroughly.
So, is It Safe to Consume Sprouted Potatoes?
Well, the answer to this question is it depends! Sprouted potatoes typically contain an unusual concentration of glycoalkaloids, which can produce a distinct, undesirable, acrid taste.
If the sprouted potatoes contain immense quantities of these compounds, such as in those shoots and roots appearing in the rear portion of your storage area, they can be hazardous to consume.
Meanwhile, if the potatoes only have tiny little sprouts, you can use a paring knife to discard the sprout. However, you must carefully cut around the sprouts and remove the eyes, bumps, and roots.
This method helps make the potatoes edible and retain their pleasant taste, although their appearance when they’re raw won’t be as attractive.
Please note that it’s best to throw potatoes with extensive slips and sprouts, such as thick and lengthy roots and scary eyes.
Remember, it’s unsafe to cook or eat shriveled or wrinkled potatoes that contain green parts or sprouts.
You must be extra cautious if you intend to consume potatoes with skin on them because that’s where toxins dwell.
Potatoes with extensively rooted sprouts are undesirable to eat and are likelier to cause you to feel unwell.
Symptoms of food poisoning from toxic compounds, like Solanine found in spoiled potatoes, can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, brain fog, severe headache, and fever.
Let’s wrap up:
When is It Okay to Eat a Sprouted Sweet Potato?
You can eat your potatoes if they are firm when you squeeze them. Inspect if its color is normal and free of any greenish tint.
If the sprouted potato has minimal sprouts, use a peeler to remove them.
When is It Unsafe to Eat a Sprouted Sweet Potato?
If you notice that the raw sweet potatoes have green skin beneath or outside them, if they smell rotten and unpleasant, and if they’re super soft, wrinkly, and faded, these signs indicate that it’s high time to toss them out.
How to Correctly Store a Sweet Potato to Minimize Sprouting?
While there’s nothing wrong with filling your pantry with as much food as possible, when it comes to sweet potatoes, buying what you need is recommendable to inhibit spoilage.
But, if you have extra potatoes left, store them in a cool, dark storage area.
Did you know that you must avoid storing potatoes near onions?
Surprisingly, onions give off gases, causing potatoes to sprout quickly.
The best places to store potatoes are in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cabinet or kitchen pantry.
Likewise, keep them away from direct sunlight, kitchen appliances, or somewhere with high temperatures.
Extreme light exposure brings about solanine accumulation, turning the skin green.
Is it okay to store the sweet potato inside the fridge or freezer before cooking?
Unfortunately, freezing or refrigerating potatoes can cause their contained starch to transform into sugar, causing discoloration and a sweet taste when cooked.
Hence, if you want to make your potatoes edible for an extended period, store them loose at room temperature and in dark storage places.
Similarly, you can prevent premature spoilage if you don’t wash the potatoes until you are ready to start the cooking process.
Wet potatoes tend to spoil faster.
Are Sprouted Potatoes Useless?
No. The delightful news is that if you feel guilty throwing the sprouted potatoes away just like that, you may consider planting them.
Growing sweet potatoes is easy and can offer you many benefits in the long run.
Grow the sprouted potatoes in your garden, and after some time, you’ll notice that they start producing root tubers, allowing you to harvest sweet potatoes over time.
As read, sprouted potatoes contain high amounts of glycoalkaloids, which, when consumed in extreme amounts, can cause food poisoning or be fatal.
While others claim that potatoes with a bit of sprout are still safe to eat, provided you remove the sprouts, it’s unclear whether these approaches are enough to safeguard you from getting sick or dying.
Luckily, you can keep your potatoes from sprouting prematurely; you need to buy enough that you’ll use and strictly follow proper storage instructions.
Until further research is conducted, it’s best to avoid preparing and cooking sprouted sweet potatoes altogether.
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