There are many ways to enjoy potatoes, which makes it one of those foods that you are likely to have on hand at all times. However, what do you do when you discover that some have already sprouted? They are generally thrown out due to their shriveled appearance. Despite this, experts say sprouted potatoes are still safe to eat.
Sprouting is a natural process however it takes away valuable nutrients from the spud. As the tiny sprouts appear, starch is converted to sugar, triggering the growth of a potato plant.
Sprouting potatoes: are they safe to be eaten?
YES. However, you must take into account factors like the number of sprouts and their size, as well how wrinkled the potatoes are. You may observe soft spots around what used to be the eyes and are now sprouts at the beginning of sprouting. All you have to do is remove any sprouts and soft spots from your potato before cooking it.
When the potatoes are wrinkly, they will produce too many sprouts. You may want to avoid cooking them. These sprouted potatoes have lost a great deal of their nutritional value and will not taste good.
Do sprouted potatoes contain toxins?
YES. Potatoes contain solanine and other glycoalkaloids that may cause headaches, vomiting, and discomfort in the digestive system. These substances are concentrated in the eyes, sprouts, and skin.
You shouldn't discontinue eating potatoes based on this information, though. All you have to do is peel off the eyes, sprouts, and skin (especially if it is green) before eating a potato – plus you would have to eat a lot of sprouts and green skins if you wanted to get sick!
Is it possible to prevent this sprouting?
The answer is YES, fortunately! The desire to have potatoes is almost impossible to resist, especially when they are on sale, and thankfully, you do not have to limit yourself. Keep these tips in mind:
Store potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place. Keep them away from onions! If you grow your potatoes at home, be sure to dry them outdoors so they can be stored for a long time. Heirloom varieties are also known for their long-term storage capabilities. If you dry your potatoes outdoors, they are suitable for long-term storage.