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Question:

How can you keep potatoes from oxidizing when grating them? — Amy W., OR

Bonnie Moore

Answer:

Potatoes, like many low acid fruits and vegetables, turn brown when they are exposed to the oxygen in the air. Here are two tricks to prevent oxidizing:

  1. Cook potatoes immediately after peeling, grating or cutting. High heat inactivates the enzymes that cause browning. This is best for dishes that rely on the starch in potatoes to stick together, such as potato pancakes.
  2. Immediately submerge potatoes in water. This prevents air from coming in contact with cut surfaces until you are ready to cook. However, it also washes away starches. This is good for boiled, mashed, sautéed or roasted potatoes.

For other low acid fruits and vegetables such as artichokes, bananas, avocados, apples and pears, rub them with an acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar right after cutting. The acid retards the browning process, but adds flavor that may or may not be desirable in the finished dish.


About Bonnie Moore

Bonnie Moore, FoodFit's Executive Chef, graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in Math and Statistics before forsaking her calculator for a whisk. Bonnie earned an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University and a degree in pastry arts from L'Academie de Cuisine. She was the sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington, the only five-star, five-diamond kitchen in the United States, and a former chef-instructor in the professional program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. Bonnie likes to be involved with food at every stage, from planting seeds at the farm to creating a meal for her family. She believes that there is no better place to foster community and nourish those you love than around a table piled with delicious food.


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