Sweet potatoes are a starchy root vegetable that possess a sweet taste and smooth interior texture. Buying pre-cut sweet potatoes can be a time saver, but you can also prepare this vegetable ahead of time.
If you are peeling and cubing sweet potatoes in preparation of a larger meal or dish, it is important to soak them in water in the refrigerator to prevent them from drying out and keep them ready to use.
Prep Sweet Potatoes Ahead of Time
Before you prep sweet potatoes ahead of time, you will need several different cooking utensils as well as numerous, whole sweet potatoes. To start, get a large knife that is sharpened, allowing for smooth and clean cuts of the potatoes.
You also need a cutting board, a large bowl and a peeler. The large bowl will later be filled with water to help store and preserve the cubed and peeled sweet potatoes.
Peel the Potatoes
Before you peel your sweet potatoes, wash them vigorously with water. If you use a scrub brush, you will remove excess dirt and grime, making it easier to peel the potatoes themselves.
Grab one potato and a peeler, pushing firmly with the blade along the exterior of the potato until you have removed the outer layer of skin. Continue to peel the potato with a peeler until there is no skin left. You can also use a small knife to peel the potato if you do not have a peeler.
Cut Into Cubes
Once you have peeled your potatoes, you can cube them using a sharp knife. Place the sweet potato on the cutting board, holding one side of the potato with your free hand to keep the potato stable. The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts recommends squaring off the ends and four sides of the potato to make it rectangular — an easier shape to cut. Make several parallel cuts along the potato, cutting the potato lengthwise.
Turn the potato one-quarter turn and make another series of lengthwise cuts. Hold these pieces together with your free hand while you slice perpendicular to the first two series of cuts. Cutting in these two directions will get you numerous sweet potato cubes.
Read more: Sweet Potatoes and Weight Loss
Store Your Potatoes Safely
After you have successfully peeled and cubed your sweet potatoes, you can either cook them immediately or preserve them overnight. When storing peeled sweet potato in the fridge, place them in a bowl of cold water. Dry them off with a paper towel to further reduce bacteria before cooking them, as advised by the FDA.
If you are directly cooking them, you can simply place them on an oven tray with olive oil, salt and pepper, or add them to a pan and saute them with meat or use them in any other sweet potato recipes.
If you won't be using them right away, you can freeze cut sweet potatoes. However, the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends that sweet potatoes be cooked before freezing.