What do you do with left over potato water?
I was reading the Dollar Stretcher website this morning and found an article about potato water that sounded interesting.
Here was the question:
Does anyone do anything with the water that is left from boiling potatoes? I have a pot of potatoes boiling and am thinking there has to be something useful I can do with that water when I drain my potatoes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Here were the responses:
I use it for soups, gravies, liquid in baking biscuits, breads, pancakes
It is perfect for yeast breads along with powdered milk.. Also, for mashed potatoes, save the hot potato water, mix in powdered milk, add both to your potatoes, and mash away! Also useful for thickening soups.
I used to always pour the water off the potatoes, until I saw how my old boyfriend's mother made her potato soup. She left the water in there, and actually, it was pretty good. I like her soup, it tasted more potato-y. My version: leave the water, add some milk, then add some powdered milk to make a milkier consistency.
In the Little House Book " The Long Winter" the family made a Christmas dinner in May when their Christmas barrel arrived. There is a passage that reads that there is no milk for the mashed potatoes. Ma tells Laura " Leave a very little of the boiling water in, and after you mash them beat them extra hard with the big spoon."
The potatoes turned out white and fluffy. So you can use a bit of the boiling water to mash potatoes. I also know someone who pours off a bit of the boiling water into a pan, adds a bit of salt and pepper, brings it back to a boil and drinks a bit of the potato water as a type of broth drink.
I keep it in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It keeps for several days - probably up to a week, but I usually use it for something before then. If it gets too gray or yucky looking, I get rid of it. A tight fitting lid helps it last longer.
I drain my potatoes into another pan and continue to cook it down quite a bit. Then I freeze it with my stocks and use it in soups, stews, breads, gravies, etc. Usually gravies are the one I use it in most, make excellent gravy.
Some of my favorite recipes use potato water, cinnamon rolls & potato rolls, I often have too much extra water from cooking vegetables but I pour it over my favorite garden plants to give them the extra nutrients.
You never mentioned if you peeled your potatoes or kept the skins on. This hint would be for peeled potatoes. A use not mentioned, is starching. In the days before my time, when commercial starch was not available, a starch water solution was made. If the water is clear enough, dipping your clothing into the starchy potato water would work. If you make latke's, you usually grate the potato into cold water. The starch will settle on the bottom of the bowl. In the story of Mrs. Tiggywinkle, by Beatrix Potter, the washerwomen hedgehog character was taken from an old Scottish washerwomen that she knew. The character in the story prided herself in being an excellent clear starcher, so I am assuming that the "real" washer women did as well. Another recipe for starch is to boil one teaspoon of rice in a quart of water and remove the rice.
My Great Aunt used to let the potato water cool and then wash her face in it (obviously after removing the cooked potatoes). She claimed the starch helped preserve her skin. She'd then rinse off with fresh water and soap.
Note from Lucy: I cooked some potatoes on Sunday for a potato salad and poured that water right down the drain. Now I know that I can experiment with using potato water. If you have any uses for potato water, let's hear it.