Pass The Potatoes Please

by Brandi Savitt – March 17, 2011

Toast St. Patrick’s Day with 3 Irish Dishes

Potatoes may have been growing wild along the Peruvian coast over 10,000 years ago, but when most of us in the USA think of these tuber root veggies, we think: IRELAND.  And in honor of St. Patty’s day, we thought we’d share some Fab & Fru info about this worldwide food staple, and dish out some inexpensive, delicious Irish recipes that will make you feel more than lucky when you taste the results!

Potatoes Themselves Are Not High in Calories

Did you know that there are hundreds of varieties of edible potatoes?!  And while there has been a negative backlash the last several years claiming that potatoes make you fat, the truth is, it’s not the potatoes themselves – it’s how you prepare them!  If you added loads and loads of oil, butter and cream – you’ll make any vegetable yummy – but FATTENING!

The Nutritious Value of the Potato

Potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese and tryptophan, as well as fiber. They also contain anti-oxidants, which are extremely valuable in protecting the body cells against a number of degenerative diseases. Although most of the fiber is found in the skin, there are nutrients throughout the whole tuber. But because eating the skin is a great source of fiber and nutrients, buy organic potatoes and eat the whole thing!

Add More Fiber to Your Potatoes

Cooking and then cooling potatoes also significantly increases the resistant starch (the fiber).  Potato experts  say, cooked potato starch contains about 7% resistant starch, which increases to about 13% upon cooling!

Storing & Cooking With Tubers

Store your potatoes in a cool, dark place, but DO NOT keep in the fridge!  If it’s too cold, their starches could turn into sugar and alter their taste. Avoid exposure to sunlight, as this will encourage the potatoes to turn green and sprout, increasing their toxic alkaloid content.  This means that you should remove all green parts and little nubs before cooking.

Potatoes have a tendency to oxidize quickly and discolor once they are cut and exposed to air.  To avoid this, sprinkle them with lemon juice and cover with cold water until you are ready to use them.

What’s Up with the Sweet Potato?

High vitamin A, other vitamins, antioxidants, and packed with serious fiber, we just love this super healthy wonder food. And although you can substitute its starchy goodness for many white potato dishes, the sweet potato is a mere distant relative of the potato as we know it!  Although it is also a root vegetable and tuber, it is NOT in the same family as the potato, but it’s nutrient and fiber content is off the charts!  –Try to also buy organic sweet potatoes and eat the skins for an extra punch of fiber.

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