From buttery mash to crisp, crunchy roasties, potatoes are endlessly versatile. Yet almost half of all potatoes bought in the UK are thrown away – that’s about 6 million a day, at an annual cost of £230m. Read on for our tips and tricks to use up your spuds.
Green-tinged spuds with long sprouts aren’t pretty, but don’t be put off. The sprouts can easily be chopped off. It’s essential that you chop off any green bits as well – outside and in – but once you do, that ugly potato is good to cook. Disguise odds and ends of potatoes by blitzing into a creamy potato and corn chowder, or dice into a breakfast hash – try this baked red cabbage, bacon and potato hash for a hearty weekend brunch.
Did you know potatoes are in the top five most thrown-away food household items? Previously, it was thought that potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place but a recent study has found that putting potatoes in the fridge can extend the life of potatoes up to 21 days (as opposed to 7 days). As a result, the FSA are now recommending we store out spuds in the fridge to avoid food waste, but don’t store with onions – the gases they each release cause the other to spoil.
Large potatoes are great for loading with hearty fillings – try baked sweet potato skins filled with spicy beans and topped with melting cheese for an easy, healthy meal.
Bought more potatoes than you can eat? Freeze them. Parboil first (freezing raw turns them mushy), then freeze uncovered on a tray until solid before transferring to a freezer bag. Leftover mash can also be frozen. Potatoes are also great for bulking out hearty family meals to stash in the freezer – these creamy coronation chicken and potato pies or this spicy lentil stew can both be made ahead and frozen, ready for defrosting when you don’t have time to cook.
If you’ve managed to resist eating them all at Sunday lunch, don’t waste leftover roast potatoes – combine with other roast dinner leftovers for a crisp potato and stuffing hash. Alternatively, be inspired by Spain and turn your leftovers into patatas bravas, a classic tapas dish. Simply toss roasties with smoked paprika, then drizzle over a tub of arrabbiata sauce and bake for 15 mins. Serve with chopped parsley, lemon wedges and aioli.
Plain boiled potatoes are easy to turn into a crowd-pleasing potato salad. For a fast herby dressing, mix together crème fraîche, lemon zest, chopped spring onions and soft herbs (parsley, basil, mint and dill work well). Season generously and stir through boiled potatoes. For something more substantial, try this peppered steak and potato salad with smoky griddled peppers.
If you’ve overestimated your mashed potato quantities, try turning leftovers into crisp pesto croquettes. Simply stir pesto into cold mash and shape balls around mozzarella cubes. Dip in beaten egg, coat in breadcrumbs, drizzle with oil, then bake for 20 mins or until golden. Leftover mash also makes cooking fishcakes a breeze – try our classic recipe to master this simple family favourite.
Bored of mash or chips but lacking inspiration to use up your potatoes? Try something different and turn them into savoury bakes. This Cornish potato and rosemary focaccia is an easy way to give homemade bread a go, or pile herby potatoes inside crisp filo pastry for an impressive potato and goats cheese tart.
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