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Potato Trends

How to Reduce Food Waste with Potatoes

On Earth Day—and every day—reducing your food waste is a great way to help the planet and save money. Here are a few tips to get the most use out of your potatoes!

Use the Skins and the Starch

While you can enjoy the whole potato, especially when baked, some preparations—like mashed and roasted potatoes—call for removing the skins and excess starch. Fortunately, you can repurpose these parts!

While many of a potato’s nutrients are in its flesh, the skin contains about half of its total dietary fiber. You can make a snack out of potato skins by turning them into plant-based chicharrónes using this recipe:

Potato Skin Chicharrónes


For many potato dishes, we also recommend soaking the potatoes in water before cooking, which removes excess starch. You’ll see it sink to the bottom of the bowl!

After you remove the potatoes, you can strain the starch out of the water and use it in place of flour as a gluten-free thickener for a soup or stew. Potato starch is also a great addition to baked goods; the starch or dehydrated flakes can make your sweet treats fluffier and enhance their flavor.

Cut off Green Patches or Sprouts

You don’t have to throw out potatoes with bruises, sprouts, or green patches! Cut away these parts and use the remaining potato.

Green spots or patches on potatoes (known as “greening”) are a natural result of chlorophyll production in the tuber from being exposed to light. Chlorophyll is not toxic; however, its presence indicates an increase in the production of solanine. Solanine is a glycoalkaloid that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), but only if consumed in very large amounts.

If you’re still hesitant to use sprouted, green, or older potatoes, you can repurpose them for crafts! Potatoes can be used as stamps when you cut them in half and carve shapes into the flesh.

Additionally, you can prevent potatoes from sprouting and greening by storing your potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.

Reimagine Leftovers

Give your mashed potatoes a second chance! Unfinished mashed potatoes go to waste too often, but you can repurpose them in delicious ways for dinner and dessert.

Leftover mashed potatoes can be used as a binder in meatloaf and meatballs, adding flavor while creating the right texture. They can also thicken soups and stews—add a little during the cooking process. Alternatively, if you thin mashed potatoes with broth, they make a great base for potato soup.

Sub mashed potatoes for fresh in this Mexican Potato Soup with Chorizo and Corn recipe.

Another option is to form the mash into patties and pan-fry them for potato cakes that are delicious on their own or act as a base for additional toppings.

Check out these Poppin’ Potato Cakes with Sweet Corn Jalapenos and Cheddar

And mashed potatoes also enhance the texture of baked goods. Give them a try in donuts with this recipe:

Spudnuts—Potato Donuts

Potato Tips and Tricks from the Authority on Potatoes

We’d love to hear about other creative ways you reduce food waste with potatoes. Leave a comment and let us know!

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