Sounds kind of yucky almost.
You wouldn't think of it but it's actually a pretty awesome thing.
So why on earth would you save potato water? I mean you cooked the potatoes and that's what you used the water for. Don't you just drain it like pasta? Well you could, but you'd be missing out.
Turns out even Ma Ingalls knew about this little kitchen secret:
"While Ma made the gravy Laura mashed the potatoes. There was no milk but Ma said, "Leave a very little of the boiling water in, and after you mash them beat them extra hard with a big spoon." The potatoes turned out white a fluffy...."
Potato starch is very similar to milk or water mixed with flour. It acts as a thickening agent. You can even buy dried potato starch to have on hand if you don't regularly make it. For those allergic to corn or wheat it provides a suitable substitute for a flour or cornstarch thickener.
You can also use it to add to breads or soups in place of regular water. In the case of soups it will thicken the broth and it also adds in vitamins that were in the potatoes when boiled. It's kind of like getting a freebie vegetable supplement in with whatever you are making!
If you don't plan on using it right away you can always freeze it for later use.
Do you save potato water? What do you use it in?
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