October 7, 2022

Dehydrated Potatoes For Instant Mashed

I grew up in meat and potato country, where potatoes were the standard starch for most meals: baked, mashed, boiled, scalloped, hashed, french fried, you name it, we ate potatoes that way. Now, I rotate the starches I serve—rice, pasta, potatoes, bread or rolls—but our favorite is always potatoes. Especially, mashed. With salt and butter. Or gravy.  Or my mock sour cream (ricotta with a little kefir stirred in until it's sour cream consistency). Yum. 

There are a lot of steps to making mashed potatoes, however, so I don't make them very often. There's store-bought instant, but somehow I don't think those taste very good. They supposedly use freeze drying to make it (which is said to be superior for retaining flavor and nutritional value), so maybe it's the other stuff they put in it: vegetable oil (soybean, cottonseed, sunflower or canola), corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, mono and diglycerides, calcium stearoyl lactylate, artificial flavors, artificial color, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bisulfite, dipotassium phosphate, silicon dioxide, etc. Or maybe because I'm so used to eating real food, that store bought instant mashed potatoes just taste "off."

When I discovered several mashed potatoes dehydrating videos, I was interested! They were pretty easy to make.

Cut into chunks and boil as for mashed potatoes.

Mash when soft. Don't add milk or butter. If it 
needs thinning, use the potato boiling water.

As you can see, I didn't peel my potatoes, even when I'm mashing them. It adds nutrition, and neither of us minds the bits of peel. We're used to it.

Spread onto fruit leather trays or parchment paper. Set the dehydrator
to the vegetable setting and dry until crisp (for me, about 18 hrs)

I've tried both waxed paper and parchment paper for drying things like this. I don't find either works very well, so I'm thinking I need to invest in some fruit leather tray liners or maybe silicone baking sheets. (Which I did and they work great! My review is here.)

Break into pieces and put them into the blender.

Blend on high until it's powdered!

Store in a sealed, airtight jar (I vacuum pack mine).

I haven't tried making mashed potatoes with them yet, but I'll report back when I do. I'm going to follow the rehydrating recipe from Northstar Prepsteader.     

Heat to boiling
2/3 C water
1 T butter
1/4 tsp salt
Remove from heat and stir in
1/4 C milk
2/3 C potato flakes
Season to taste 

If these are as good as everybody says they are, we'll eat a lot more mashed potatoes this winter!


Anonymous said...

You could try lightly greasing aluminum foil and using them as drying trays. I do that for fruit leather. Just a light spray and then I lightly wipe it with paper towel to remove excess.

PioneerPreppy said...

can't wait to see how they reconstitute into mashed... I love me some mashed taters!!!

Leigh said...

Anonymous, that's an idea. I used aluminum foil when I made powdered eggs (many years ago), but most instructions recommend the parchment paper. It might take a light coating too. Having to peel the stuff off is a step I'd like to eliminate.

PP, me too!

SmartAlex said...

OOoo... I'd be down for this! I'll be curious for the follow up. Potatoes don't store long in our basement and our primary use of potatoes is mashed. This would be a great way to store some of my crop. Personally, I love boxed mashed potatoes, but I haven't used them in decades because it is so easy seems like cheating. Now your reminder of the additive ingredients reinforces that I've been sensible.

Mama Pea said...

We usually don't have any trouble keeping potatoes until spring when nature tells them to start sprouting. But it seems more and more these days that the "usual" can't be replied upon (have you noticed?), so I am tempted to give this dehydration method a try. Please do post when you try using the powder!

Leigh said...

Alex, "it is so easy seems like cheating." LOL!! I know what you mean! Still, this is the loving work of our hands, and a fantastic homemade convenience food. :) Will report on how they do as mashed potatoes.

Mama Pea, I do okay storing potatoes, but I really like the idea of the convenience of this. In summer, I'm in processing and preserving mode, so it's easy to add on interesting projects like this. I keep fresh stored potatoes for oven french fries and baked, but this will mean mashed potatoes more often (with less cleanup!)

Ed said...

I remember those days of meat and potatoes for every meal. I wonder now how I even survived the monotony! I not to long ago invested in silicone tray liners for my food dehydrator when I was making apple powder. They worked out okay but the sugary apples still stuck pretty good to them. I could peel them off but it took some effort and certainly didn't pop right off as I was expecting. I also invested in a vacuum pump for canning lids. I haven't tried it out yet but want to. With a lot of jars now, I was thinking they would be a great way to preserve a lot of things air tight.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

That sounds like a great idea (He says, thinking of his dehydrator).That said, I have for some reason always preferred baked potatoes to mashed potatoes, perhaps if for no other reason than I really like butter!

Leigh said...

Ed, I just ordered some silicone fruit leather tray liners for my dehydrator, so your experience is really helpful. The parchment paper tears into small pieces, which is a nuisance. Maybe I'll try Anonymous's idea of a light vegetable oil spray first, for high sugar purees.

Speaking of meat and potatoes days, the worst meal I recall is my mother's potatoes and pot roast. Those roasts were always tough! I'd chew and chew and chew and chew, and still have a wad of meat in my mouth. Probably why I'm not a real fan of meat today.

TB, I don't know what it is about mashed potatoes - maybe the creamy texture. With butter and gravy. :) Or as Kev over at An English Homestead recently blogged about, shepherds pie. I used to really like that one, but never make it because mashed potatoes are a lot of work.

Nancy In Boise said...

What a great idea I will have to try that! I did buy a set of four silicone trays that work great for dehydrating raw eggs. Will definitely have to try this thank you!

Fundy Blue said...

Very interesting, Leigh. We used to eat powdered instant potatoes up North, because the cost of flying in real potatoes was prohibitive. I can't think of eating them now, although I'm sure yours would be delicious and nutritious. You live such a different life from my suburban one. Have a great October!

Leigh said...

Nancy, I just ordered silicone trays so I'm glad to hear that! Powdered raw eggs is another very hand thing to have on hand.

I have to warn you that making fruit and vegetable powders is addictive! Very satisfying to see all that garden goodness stored in such a compact space. :)

Fundy, blogger makes it possible to enjoy a variety of different lifestyles with a variety of wonderful people!

Interesting about the potatoes. I'm guessing you wouldn't eat instant mashed potatoes now because you ate them so much when you lived up north. That reminds me of an important topic I've been thinking about - food fatigue. (I feel a blog post coming on!)

Kris said...

Hi Leigh. I, too, love mashed potatoes. When they are on sale at the organic market I buy bags. I chunk them up (sometimes peeled, sometimes not), boil, drain, add butter, milk, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage and garlic,then use my hand masher on them. When cool, I scoop the mash into 1/2C muffin tins, cover with plastic or parchment and freeze. When solid I pop them out of the tins, bag 'em up freeze. All the work is done up front so when I want them I just pop 1 or 2 in the microwave and presto! They are so convenient. Hope your dried spuds work out well for you. Take care, Kris

Leigh said...

Kris, so good to hear from you! I love your idea for freezing mashed potatoes. I've frozen some, but I just don't have enough room in my freezer. Hopefully, my instant mashed potatoes will work well too!.

Anonymous said...

Good grief Grace! One of my Mama’s favorite expressions.
Once again you must have read my mind!
I have had instant potatoes on my mind for about a month. There was a brand from Idaho image! I bought it probably 1985-ish or so. I think that was redundant but with that said it was wonderful! I mean it was really good because I am not a dehydrated instant potato person. And it didn’t have a lot of adulteration done on it either. I haven’t seen it since then and I can kinda see the box in my mind. They sure came in handy as the kiddos were still home then and between 4-H and all the other commitments it made life easier.
We have been leaving the peels on our potatoes since about 1980 to 85. I cannot be exact because my in-laws we’re always looking for interesting things that seemed healthy and my mother-in-law found that one and told us and we started and the kids didn’t even complain and I don’t know any other way to eat potatoes now without the skin in any form except maybe potato chips which I don’t eat anymore anyway.
I most certainly will try these in my 1980’s (apparently a lot happened then 😂) dehydrator from Nasco. But I need to purchase a few more fruit leather tray liners to use.
FYI the goats made their appearance in 1986 :-)

Leigh said...

Goatldi, yay for potato skins! Once time, Dan and I went out to dinner and the menu made a big deal about serving mashed potatoes with the skins still on. We had to laugh because we'd been eating them that way forever. Nice to know we'd been gourmet all along, lol.

I'm guessing a lot of products were more pure in the 80s and before. Seems like they didn't go wild with weird chemicals until after that.

PioneerPreppy said...

you got my taters done yet!!!!?