How To Leach and Remove Potassium From Potatoes
Being on a kidney-friendly diet means watching things like your potassium content intake and fluids, among many other factors. One of the most potassium-rich foods someone on a renal diet can eat are potatoes, and the best way to reduce that potassium intake amount is through leaching them. This way, anyone who is on a low potassium diet for their kidney disease management will be able to enjoy the vegetable and promote healthy kidneys.
What Does It Mean To Leach Potatoes?
Leaching potatoes refers to a method of soaking or boiling the potatoes in water for some time before cooking them. You can boil the potatoes for a quick ten minutes and then set them aside before you cook with them, or you can place them submerged in water for several hours at room temperature or with warm water.
Why Would I Leach Potassium Out of Potatoes?
If you have kidney disease and have been put on a low potassium diet, then leaching potassium out of potatoes is essential for your health and health goals.
Is Potassium Bad If You Have Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease and levels of potassium have a direct correlation. This is because excess potassium that we take in through foods gets removed from our blood by our kidneys. Still, if you have kidney disease, the excess potassium can remain in your body and cause something called hyperkalemia. So, while a certain amount of potassium in the body is essential to function properly, an excess can lead to severe health problems like muscle cramps, fatigue, chest pains, unusual heartbeat, and difficulty breathing.
How To Leach Potassium From Potatoes
Step 1 – Peel and Cut
The first step to leaching potassium from potatoes is to wash, peel, and cut them. You want to cut them in thin slices or grate them to get the most potassium leached out by the volume of water.
Step 2 – Prepare the water
Leaching requires the potatoes to be placed in water, but there are several different options one has regarding the temperature of the water. A critical facet of this is to have a large amount of water compared to the number of potatoes. So, you will fill a large pot with warm or room temperature water and then place your potatoes in it. Ideally, you want the water to be warm because it will allow you to leach more potassium out. You will also want at least ten times the volume of water compared to your potatoes. Do not leach in cold water as little leaching will occur, and it will not be as helpful.
Step 3 – Soak or Boil the potatoes
There are two effective ways of reducing potassium in potatoes, soaking for the leaching or quick boiling them. Leaching is slightly less effective at removing potassium and takes quite a bit longer than quick boiling. However, leaching by soaking is quite easy.
You will just soak your cut or grated potatoes in the warm water for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, ensuring the water maintains a slightly warm temperature throughout. Quick boiling is exactly what it sounds like and only requires you to boil your cut potatoes for 10 minutes to leach out about half of the original amount of potassium in the potato.
Does Soaking Potatoes Reduce Potassium?
Yes, soaking potatoes does reduce potassium, but the level of potassium removal depends on the cut of the potato, the amount of water used, and the temperature of the water.
How Long Should Potatoes Be Soaked to Remove Potassium?
Ideally, potatoes should be soaked for no less than 2 hours, with the usual methods stating 2 to 4 hours is optimal for potassium removal. Always use warm water, if possible, though.
How Much Potassium Can Be Leached From a Potato?
To truly maximize the amount of potassium removed from potatoes, you want to make sure you cut the potatoes thinly or grate them before soaking them in a large pot of warm water for several hours. One scientific research study focused on the effectiveness of potassium removal by soaking potatoes after cooking them and found that if you leach the potassium with this method, you can remove up to 70 percent of the present potassium.
Which Types of Potatoes Are Lowest in Potassium?
According to a research study on potassium levels in raw potatoes, the Idaho potato was shown to have the least potassium, with the Viking purple potato having the most.
Raw Idaho potato – 259 mg
Raw Sweet potato – 438 mg
Raw Viking potato – 448 mg
Do Potatoes Lose Potassium When Cooked?
Yes, potatoes do lose potassium when cooked, especially if they are boiled. The previous study we discussed talked about leaching methods and showed that actually cooking the potatoes first and then soaking them could remove up to 70 percent of the potassium.
How Long Do Leached Potatoes Last?
Leached potatoes that have been cut and stored in water only last for around 24 hours and should be cooked within that time frame. If you have boiled the potatoes and placed them in the refrigerator, they should last up to 4 days.
How To Store Potatoes That Have Potassium Removed
The best way to store potatoes that have been leached of their potassium is to put them in the refrigerator after they have been cooked. This increases their shelf life from 24 hours to several days.
Leaching or removing potassium from potatoes is an important and healthy step for those eating a kidney diet.
Leaching potatoes is the best way and most effective method for those on low potassium renal-friendly diets to enjoy a normally high potassium vegetable. This allows you or people with kidney disease in your life to eat things they still want without risking increasing health concerns.