by Samantha Lampert
The million-dollar question: If you were to be stuck on an island with only one food to eat, what would it be? Think no more! The potato can be considered one of the most “well rounded” foods you can incorporate into your diet. A great source of fiber (with the peel!), B-vitamins, potassium, vitamin C and other antioxidants, this boiled, mashed, or baked beauty contributes an incredible amount of health benefits. Not to mention, medium potatoes is roughly 100 calories each and have no fat, sodium, or cholesterol (1).
Potatoes can be used in almost anything, and eaten any time of the day. They can be sliced, mashed, chopped, boiled, baked, and more! For breakfast, hash browns are a classic. Shredded or chopped potatoes work perfect for this, depending on your texture preferences. To make, chop up a medium potato into small cubes. Coat a cast iron pan with olive oil and a little bit of salt. Add the potatoes in to the pan and cook!
You can speed up the process by adding a small amount of water and covering with a lid, which will allow the heat to become more distributed. Once they are slightly browned, add any spices you like and enjoy!
Healthier Baked Fries
French fries are a favorite lunch addition, no matter what meal you are having. Making them yourself makes them even healthier! Slice up a potato into long strips, about a half inch in diameter. Coat with a little bit of olive oil, lay out on a (pre-sprayed) baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and pop in the oven! They will bake for about 20 minutes, at 450°F, and don’t forget to flip halfway.
Better Baked Potato
Baked potatoes are a delicious and healthy way to add complex carbohydrates to your dinner. You can make a baked potato very quickly in the microwave! Once you have cleaned the potato, prick it several times with a fork to allow heat to escape – you don’t want it to explode. Place on a plate in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes, turn over, and cook for 5 more.
Remove from the microwave very carefully, and top with plain Greek yogurt (healthy alternative for sour cream), light shredded cheese made with skim milk and a sprinkle of garlic powder and parsley. Yum!
Potatoes are convenient because they are harvested year-round. If you are smart about the way that you consume your potatoes, they can be a beneficial part of your diet. The starch found in potatoes, called resistant starch, has been found to promote healthy digestion and a happy stomach (2). Consuming resistant starch may also reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. Baked potatoes have a higher amount of resistant starches than boiled, which is good to keep in mind when cooking (2).
- Minor T, Bond JK. Potatoes. Revised. USDA-ERS. 2016.
- Raatz SK, Idso l, Johnson LK, Jackson MI, Combs GF Jr. Resistant starch analysis of commonly consumed potatoes: content varies by cooking method and service temperature but not by variety. Food Chem. 2016; 208:297- 300. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.03.120