Save your garden potatoes in a smaller space! Here’s how you can make your own dehydrated potato flakes from scratch!
Buying boxed potato flakes for quick and easy mashed potatoes may seem like a great idea most of the time, right? There are some weird ingredients in the most popular brands that I want to avoid, and I like giving my family wholesome foods. Of course, you can easily store potatoes in a root cellar to last all winter long. So why would I bother making homemade potato flakes?
There are several reasons. First, just because I can! I grow potatoes in my garden, and this is an alternative way to preserve the harvest.
I often pressure can my potatoes for long-term storage, since I don’t have a root cellar, but I want another way to store them without taking up so much room. Have you tried putting a 50-pound sack of potatoes in a bug out bag? That same amount can fit into a 1/2 gallon sized mason jar, or a gallon sized Ziploc bag with room to push out the air and save space and weight. If I had to bug out, I certainly wouldn’t want to lug a huge sack of ‘taters with me.
Dehydrating your own potato flakes isn’t hard at all.
It just requires a bit of time and effort up front to get going. You start by washing and peeling your potatoes. You could leave the skins on, but the end result may be on the bitter side. Once you have the potatoes peeled, bring to a boil in a large pot with enough water to cover. Cook until the potatoes are done, with a fork or knife going thru them easily. You want them a bit on the mushier side.
Once the potatoes finish cooking, DO NOT DRAIN.
You want to use the cooking water to mash them. This stage isn’t the time to season or use milk or butter. That will come when you cook and rehydrate the flakes. Put the cooked potatoes in a mixing bowl and whip with only the cooking water until smooth. I used my kitchen aid for this, but you could do it with a hand mixer or even masher if you wanted. You want it as smooth as possible.
Lay the mashed potatoes out on a dehydrator sheet.
I used the Excalibur dehydrator and the sheets for this. You will want to dehydrate the potatoes at 140° for about 24-36 hours, depending on how thick you put the potatoes on. I made them thicker than I should have the first time, and some turned black on me. They tasted the same, but it was a weird color and a bit off-putting for my family.
The thinner you layer the potatoes on the sheet, the faster they dry, and the less likely they are to turn black. After 12-15 hours, check the potatoes for dried pieces and turn them over. Turning will help get more air circulating to them and they will dry faster.
You’ll know they are finished when they “break” instead of “bend” and they are a whitish golden color. Remove the dried pieces from the dehydrator and place them in either a blender or food processor to break up into flakes. Store in an airtight container. I use my dehydrated potatoes up each year, but if there is no water in them, the shelf life could be at least a couple of years stored airtight.
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To use your dehydrated potato flakes
- Bring 2/3 cup water and 1 Tablespoon butter to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup milk and stir in 2/3 cup flakes.
- Add more butter or milk to taste, as this recipe will make potatoes that are on the “stiffer” side.
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