When you cook potatoes, they are often tender and fluffy due to the moisture content escaping from them. However, if they are not cooked properly, they can become tough and hard.
If your steamed or boiled potatoes have become hard after a few hours of storage or refrigeration, there are ways to soften them again so that you can enjoy them once more.
What happens when potatoes start to become tough is that their starch molecules begin to break down and turn into glucose, which is then converted into starch again by enzyme action.
This process causes the sugars in the potato to clump together, forming larger sugar molecules called polysaccharides. These large sugar molecules cannot flow through the cell walls of the potato plant anymore, which means that they begin to build up in the cell walls of the potato from within.
The longer you store potatoes in excess of 60° F (16° C), the greater chance there is for this buildup to occur and for the result to be hard starchy potatoes instead of fluffy ones that you can enjoy again with meals later on.
How to soften hard st cabbage?
There are many ways to soften cabbage that is getting difficult to eat. Try this one and see if it works. First, you will need a head of cabbage, some cold water, and a colander. Take the cabbage out of the head so that you have the leaves and the base.
Then rinse it under cold water to remove any dirt or residue from the surface of the leaves. Put the leaves and the base in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the leaves and the base. Soak the leaves in the water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Next, take the base out of the water and put it in a colander. Drain the water off the leaves and leave them in the colander over the sink. Cover the leaves with a plate or a bowl to keep them submerged in the water.
Let the leaves sit in the water for about an hour. This is important because it will help to draw out some of the excess starch in the cabbage from the surface of the leaves.
Once the excess starch has been drawn out from the leaves, you can now safely discard it. You can also keep it for future use as animal feed.
Soak your hard starchy cabbage in cold water
Soaking cabbage in cold water can be very helpful in softening tough starchy stalks. The reason for this is because when you soak hard starchy vegetables in cold water, the enzymes that are responsible for turning the starches in them into glucose are inhibited.
This is because when the temperature in the water and within the cells is below 60° F (16° C), enzymes do not function. This means that the energy source available to them is too low to function properly and they are unable to convert starches into glucose.
This process can take a couple of hours and during that time, the volume of water in the bowl used to soak the vegetable is absorbed by the cabbage. This makes the water level in the bowl lower and lower over time, until the vegetable is submerged. The more starchy the vegetable is, the longer it takes for the water to be absorbed by it.
Bring to boil and cook until soft
Soaking stalks and cutting them into small pieces is the easiest way to soften them. Just cook them until they are soft and then mash them to break down the starches even further.
In this method, you can either use a potato masher or a rice paddle. The rice paddle is great because it flattens the stalks without breaking them into smaller pieces, which can occur when using a potato masher.
This method is also helpful in cooking less starchy vegetables like beets, carrots, or parsnips. When using this method on vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or yams, mash them while they are still warm. This will help to break down the starches even further.
Add vinegar and salt to restore original texture
If the vegetables that you are cooking with the next time are more starchy and you do not want to use a lot of extra water and time to soften them, then you can add vinegar and salt to the pot as you are cooking them.
This is a very simple method that you can try during the week. For example, after you cook your potatoes, mash them or cut them into smaller pieces and add salt and vinegar to the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes until they are soft. Do the same with other starchy vegetables like parsnips, carrots, beets, or yams. There are many vinegars that can be used for this.
The most commonly used vinegar for this purpose is apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar is another option. You can also try wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or malt vinegar.
Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days
If you have softened your starchy vegetables and are ready to enjoy them again, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When you want to eat your vegetables again, take them out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature for about an hour before consuming them. This will allow the water in the vegetables to be absorbed by the air and become cooler again.
If you are dealing with particularly hard starchy vegetables, then you can try blanching them first and then cooling and storing them in the fridge. This is an easy method that you can use to soften the texture of hard starchy vegetables like beets, carrots, and potatoes.
After you have cooked your vegetables and they are still quite starchy, you can blanch them first by bringing them to a boil and then cooling them down in ice water. This will reduce the amount of water in the vegetables and help to inhibit the enzymes responsible for starch breakdown.