Can You Eat Potatoes With Eyes In Them?
Potatoes that have eyes in them are known as sprouted potatoes. You can eat sprouted potatoes but it is advised to remove the sprouted parts in them before consuming them. This is because these sprouts can have some toxins in them which may be harmful for your body and health.
You can prepare potatoes in an eyes-out manner, since they contain less solanine than green onions or meat. They do not have as much compared to the sprouts and the green skins or flesh of the tuber.
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You can eat sprouted potatoes, but first you must remove any noxious parts, including sprouts & any green skin or flesh. If you eat a large amount of sprouted potatoes (or too much green skin or flesh), you will get Solanine poisoning. Sprouts contain solanine, a toxic glycoalkaloid, and can make you sick if you consume too much.
|Side effects||Shelf life|
|Stomach upset||In pantry 3-5 weeks|
|Effects nervous system||3-4 months in refrigerator|
|Heart problems||10-12 months in freezer|
Eating potatoes with sprouts may make you swallow excessive amounts of these compounds. The toxins reside in the skins of potatoes and on sprouts; the white flesh of potatoes contains far less. The levels of glycoalkaloids within the roots (i.e., potato) themselves are usually too low to cause any harmful effects.
The whole potato plant contains glycoalkaloids, but the highest concentrations are found in leaves, flowers, the eyes, the green skin, and sprouts. Although solanine and other glycoalkaloids are found throughout potato plants, they are concentrated mostly in sprouts, eyes, and skin, not the remaining portions of the potato. These eyes (or sprouts, as eyes are sometimes called) contain glycoalkaloids, compounds that make potatoes green and are potentially toxic.
The reason why you have to remove the sprouts is that potatoes that develop eyes have high levels of glycoalkaloids. When potatoes start sprouting, the growths (those roots, eyes, and lumps) contain higher concentrations of compounds called glycoalkaloids, which cause a harsh, unpleasant, bitter flavor. Defense toxin called glycoalkaloids also build up in potatoes that are pulled out of their protected underground nests and exposed to light (their green colour is an indication you should watch out; more on this here).
Sprouting means that toxins levels are too high, and that potatoes are no longer safe to consume. Since the possibility for poisoning exists if you consume sprouted potatoes, it is necessary to very carefully remove any sprouts, and if a potato is in very poor condition, simply toss it. If you want to be extra cautious, you can remove any smaller sprouts that you can see with a knife, digging through the potato flesh. The point is, you can eat sprouted potatoes, but only when you have peeled and removed any sprouted or green bits.
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Sprouted potatoes that are still solid, with relatively few sprouts, and do not appear wrinkled or shrunken are fine to eat, provided that you cut off the sprouted parts and soft spots. Potatoes are themselves safe to eat, even after they have sprouted, just be sure that they are still solid to the touch, are not super wrinkled, and that the sprouts are small. When it comes to sprouted potatoes, usually, a large portion of the nutrients that are in them are still intact, and this can be determined by how firm the potato is.
The spots and the resultant growths that occur on potatoes about a week after they are stored are potentially toxic, but will not hurt you as long as you are not eating them. When left stored too long, potatoes may start sprouting, creating a debate about whether eating them is safe. If left to sprout for too long, potatoes eventually get wrinkled from losing water and energy. Sometimes potatoes will have sprouted too far out for them to be eaten — just use your best judgment here, and you will be able to enjoy your potatoes without concern.
If you skip the drying, homegrown potatoes will not last as long as they should. If you store potatoes next to onions or apples, they will begin sprouting earlier because of the gases those foods produce. When potatoes begin sprouting, their nutrients begin to disappear as they are converted to sugar.
The part of a potato plant that we eat is its tuber, and the tuber stores the excess nutrients until the spring, when it turns these nutrients into energy and starts growing the excess nutrients from the sprouting of the potatos tuber. The potato effectively turns the starch into sugar, so it can use it to fuel new potato plants that it anticipates developing from sprouts.
When potatoes begin sprouting, they develop eyes, which tend to begin as little reddish-white splotches that quickly develop into centimeter-long growths. The colors and placement of sprouting parts makes the potato shoots look like eyes popping from the side of a face, often with a black spot like a pupil. You might have noticed that when you take home a bag of potatoes, sometimes you will get a sprouted potato, or green potato, which means there is a layer of green skin underneath the potatoes brown exterior. Do not let that caveat put you off potatoes; you would need to eat lots of sprouts and green skins to get sick.
In this case, you would need to throw out the potato containing the solanine, even if you have removed all of the green parts and cooked it well. Even if a potato does not contain solanine, a limp, wrinkled potato does not make a good eating texture, even once cooked. Soft, wrinkled potatoes can have an increased amount of solanine, particularly if they are starting to sprout. The rest of a potato is not likely to contain excessive toxin (unless its skin is turning green as well), but sprouting activity can reduce its texture.
If you notice sprouting, or a green coloration, in certain areas, you may try and remove these using a sharp paring knife, and still prepare with the rest of the potato (although it is not recommended). If you really do notice a particularly bitter flavor to your potatoes, though, that may be a sign that the glycoalkaloid levels are increasing in the roots, and you should not eat them.
Is it OK to eat potatoes with eyes?
Even after sprouting, potatoes are fine to eat as long as they feel solid to the touch, don’t appear overly wrinkled and shriveled, and the sprouts are little. Potato sprouts, however, raise toxicity worries, so you should get rid of them and check to see if the potato is still edible.
How do I know if potatoes are bad?
Raw potatoes should be tight-skinned, firm to the touch, and free of noticeable bruises, black spots, or other imperfections. A potato should be discarded if it has turned mushy or squishy. While earthy or nutty smells are typical for potatoes, a musty or moldy scent is indicative of spoiled food.
When should you not eat potatoes?
Any cooked potatoes that are more than four days old should be discarded. Additionally, you should throw away cooked potatoes right away if you ever notice mold on them. Fuzz or a few dark spots that are brown, black, red, white, or bluish-gray may be the appearance of mold. Potatoes can occasionally make you sick.