Sustainability made simple

This Is the Best Way to Scrub Potatoes

scrub potatoes
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur

It's important to scrub potatoes before cooking. We'll look at what the best method for scrubbing potatoes and some practical tips you can use in the process.

Potato skins are a great source of vitamin C, several B vitamins, potassium, and substantial dietary fiber. They are also rich in phytochemicals, a potentially helpful compound that can be found in skins. In fact, over half of a potato’s important nutrients are found within its skin, making potato skins a great dietary choice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when prepping potatoes. 

Before cooking, it is very important to scrub your potatoes thoroughly. This helps to remove any excess dirt, debris, and pesticide residue that may be left on the potato.        

Learning How to Scrub Potatoes

You should always scrub potatoes to clean them before cooking.
You should always scrub potatoes to clean them before cooking.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / congerdesign)

No matter how you wish to prepare them, you should always wash and scrub potatoes. While the skins are a great source of nutrition, it is important that you keep them clean. Whether you want to clean a single potato or a whole batch of potatoes, the method is actually pretty simple. Here is the best way to scrub potatoes: 

  1. Wash your hands before you get started. 
  2. Rinse the potatoes well under running water. Alternatively, any potatoes with thick skin or that have been grown in clay-based soil can be soaked until the dirt has been loosened. This makes removing dirt easier. 
  3. Once the dirt has loosened, take a vegetable brush or scrubber and gently scrub your potatoes using a circular motion. If you don’t have either of these tools, you can use a clean kitchen towel or kitchen scrub brush.  
  4. Rinse the potatoes under running water to remove any excess dirt.
  5. Pat the rinsed potatoes dry with a clean towel. 

Extra tips:  

  • If your vegetable scrubber becomes dirty, give it a quick rinse to ensure it’s clean.
  • For smaller, waxier potatoes such as baby potatoes, you can use your hands to clean them.

If you’re looking for some cooking inspiration, you could try our zero-waste mashed potato recipe. This is great if you’re looking for a way to add potato skins to your diet. 

Things to Keep in Mind

Organic potatoes are a sustainable alternative to those grown with the help of synthetic pesticides.
Organic potatoes are a sustainable alternative to those grown with the help of synthetic pesticides.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

When prepping and cooking potatoes, there are some important things to remember if you want to get the best use out of them. After all, you don’t want them to go to waste. 

  • Cooking: Boiling potatoes can cause water-soluble vitamins and minerals to leach into the cooking water, meaning you could lose valuable nutrients. To get the best dietary value from your potatoes, steam them or microwave them. 
  • Preparation: It is best to cook potatoes immediately after they are washed. If you store wet potatoes, harmful bacteria can build up.
  • Quality: Look for certified organically grown potatoes. This is better for you and the environment as organic farming usually avoids using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.     
  • Storing Potatoes: Potatoes should not be stored in the fridge, as it can cause potato starches to convert to sugars, giving them a bitter taste. Instead, they should be stored in a cool, dark, and airy place away from direct sunlight. 

Eating potato skins can help to reduce the amount of food waste that you produce, which would otherwise end up in a landfill (if thrown away). When food waste rots in landfill, it releases a strong greenhouse gas called methane into the environment. Greenhouse gases directly contribute to global warming, so lowering the amount of food waste can have positive environmental benefits

Alternatively, excess potato skins can be added to biodegradable compost. This is a far more sustainable alternative to throwing the skins in the trash or down the garbage disposal. 

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