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Unlock the Secret to Perfect Mashed Potatoes: Save the Potato Water!

Why you should save the potato water when making mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a beloved comfort food that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you like them smooth and creamy or prefer a rustic texture with the skins still on, there’s one component of mashed potatoes that’s often overlooked-the potato water. Yes, the starchy liquid left over from boiling potatoes can actually enhance the flavor and texture of your mashed potatoes. In this article, we will explore the reasons why you should save the potato water and how it can up your mashed potato game.

The Secret to Perfectly Reheated Mashed Potatoes

Have you ever made a batch of mashed potatoes ahead of time only to find that they turn out dry and lumpy when you reheat them? Well, that’s where potato water comes in. According to Real Simple, adding a little starchy potato water to your reheated mashed potatoes can help loosen them up and restore their perfect texture. The starch in the water acts as a binder, preventing the potatoes from drying out and creating a smoother consistency.

Make creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes

If you want creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes without adding excessive amounts of butter or cream, potato water may be your secret ingredient. The New York Times Cooking explains that using potato water can help achieve a creamy texture without relying on additional ingredients. The starch in the water gives the mashed potatoes a natural thickness and lightness, resulting in a velvety smoothness that will impress your dinner guests.

Other uses for potato water

Saving potato water isn’t just good for your mashed potatoes; it can also serve other purposes in your cooking endeavors. Here are some creative ways to make the most of this versatile ingredient:

1. Thickening agent for sauces, gravies, and stews

The starch in potato water makes it an excellent thickener for sauces, gravies, and stews. When you run out of cornstarch or want to keep your dish gluten-free, potato water can fill the void and help achieve the desired consistency. Simply add potato water to your recipe and watch as it adds body and thickness to your culinary creations.

2. Improve plant growth in your garden

If you have a green thumb and love tending to your garden, you’ll be happy to know that potato water can benefit your plants. The Gardening Cook explains that using potato water to hydrate your plants can also stimulate the release of essential nutrients in the soil. This can result in healthier, more vibrant plants that thrive in your garden. So instead of throwing potato water away, consider giving it to your plants for an extra boost.

3. Perfect ingredient for vegan mashed potatoes

For vegans or those who want to enjoy a plant-based diet, mashed potatoes can sometimes be a challenge. Traditional recipes often call for butter, milk, and cheese, which are not suitable for a vegan lifestyle. However, potato water can help create a creamy, dairy-free alternative. By using the starchy water as a thickening agent, you can achieve the desired texture without the need for expensive dairy substitutes. This not only keeps your mashed potatoes plant-based, but also reduces waste and conserves water.

Bottom line

Next time you make mashed potatoes, don’t overlook potato water. It’s a versatile and valuable ingredient that can enhance the flavor, texture and versatility of your favorite comfort food. Whether you’re reheating mashed potatoes, aiming for a creamy consistency, or exploring other culinary possibilities, potato water is your secret weapon. So save that starchy liquid and unlock a world of possibilities in your kitchen. Your taste buds-and even your plants-will thank you.


Why should I save the potato water when making mashed potatoes?

Saving the potato water helps maintain the perfect texture of your mashed potatoes, especially when reheating. It also adds natural thickness and creaminess without the need for excessive butter or cream.

How does potato water improve the flavor of mashed potatoes?

Potato water contains starch, which acts as a binder and enhances the flavor of mashed potatoes. It helps create a velvety smoothness and preserves the natural flavor of the potatoes.

Can I use potato water to thicken other dishes?

Absolutely! Potato water is an excellent alternative thickening agent for sauces, gravies and stews. It can be used in place of cornstarch and is especially useful if you want to keep your dish gluten-free.

Will potato water benefit my plants?

Yes, potato water can be beneficial to your plants. When used to hydrate the soil, it not only provides water but also stimulates the release of plant nutrients, resulting in healthier and more vigorous growth.

Can potato water be used in vegan mashed potatoes?

Yes, potato water is a fantastic ingredient for vegan mashed potatoes. It acts as a natural thickener, allowing you to achieve a creamy texture without the use of dairy. Using potato water helps keep mashed potatoes plant-based and eliminates the need for expensive dairy substitutes.

How much potato water should I save when making mashed potatoes?

It’s a good idea to save a few tablespoons of potato water to add to your mashed potatoes. This amount is sufficient to achieve the desired texture and flavor without making the potatoes too watery. Adjust the amount based on your personal preference and the amount of potatoes you are using.

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