Q:

Does soaking potatoes in water remove the starch?

A:

Soaking cut potatoes in cold water before cooking will help to remove some of the starch. Blanching potatoes in hot water will remove even more starch, making them easier to use in crispy potato dishes like hash browns or French fries.

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Some potatoes are lower in starch than others. Potatoes like russets are high in starch while others like Finns and purple potatoes have a lower starch content. Yukon golds and red potatoes have very little starch to begin with so minimal soaking time is needed.

To remove starch from potatoes, rinse the potatoes in cold water to remove their surface starch. Then, cut the potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water. Soak anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Rinse again and they are ready to use in any recipe.

Soaking potatoes not only removes starch, it also removes acrylamide, a chemical shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and may cause breast cancer in humans. Frying foods like potatoes creates acrylamide, but removing some of the starch from potatoes can significantly decrease this chemical.

Although it is impossible to remove all the starch from potatoes, these methods drastically reduce the amount of starch in any type of potato. This makes them healthier for those adopting a low-carb lifestyle.

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