5 Spring Potato Recipes: Taste the Healthier Rainbow

Spring Potato Recipes

Have you been trying to eat a little bit healthier this spring? After a winter of eating rich, heavy meals and snacks it makes sense that folks might want to health things up a bit in the food department. You might think that potatoes don’t have a place in a healthy eating plan, but that couldn’t be more wrong!

An average sized potato has only a lean 110 calories, contains almost half of your daily vitamin C requirements, and a skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana. Not too shabby for one humble little tuber, if we do say so ourselves!

Eat the Rainbow

When nutritionists talk about common-sense eating rules, one concept that we see stressed over and over is to have a rainbow of food on your plate. Those colors in different vegetables – including different potato varieties – often represent different vitamin and mineral content, so having an array of colors on your plate usually means that you’re eating a healthy, well-rounded meal.

1. Red

Add a splash of red to your next meal with some Bombay Potato Curry. Red potatoes pair up with nutritious tomatoes to deliver a vitamin A punch along with plenty of vitamin C and potassium.

2. Orange

Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables are good sources of fiber and vitamins A and B. You can bake a sweet potato as a side to a meal, but you can also make it the star of the show! Fancy up your next baked sweet potato with our recipe for Sweet Potato Topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples!

3. Yellow

The Mediterranean Diet has been getting a lot of buzz on the health front lately. According to a recent Spanish study, a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats like olive oil can dramatically improve heart health. Add some delicious, sunny yellow and healthy olive oil to your plate with a Mediterranean Sun Kissed Savory Salad!

4. Green

Spruce up your plate with a dash of iron and plenty of fiber and niacin with leafy greens! Our Spinach and Artichoke Two Potato Casserole packs that leafy green goodness into a tasty side dish. Even the kids will want to eat their greens!

Wait, what about blue? There aren’t many naturally blue foods, and most of them don’t pair so well with potatoes, so our little rainbow goes right from green to purple. Get your blue on during dessert with a yummy bowl of fresh blueberries and cream!

5. Purple

Purple potatoes might look a little bit different, but they have a nice, mellow potato taste that’s very similar to any other more conventional potato. Never cooked a purple potato before? We’ve got you covered with this Purple Potato Salad with Beets and Arugula!

Who says that eating healthy can’t also be delicious? Do you have a favorite healthy potato recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!

The Truth About Potatoes: 5 Myths Debunked

April Fool's Potato Smiles

April Fool’s Day is here again, so we figured there’s no better time to pull back the truth on the top five potato myths that have countless people fooled—maybe even you.

After all, there’s plenty of chatter going on about how these tasty spuds aren’t all they’re cut out to be, but we bet you’ll be surprised how much of it is certifiably F.A.L.S.E.

Okay, let’s dig right in to our first slice of potato fiction, shall we?

 

Myth #1: Potatoes are high in carbs, which means they’ll make you gain weight.

First of all, carbohydrates have an unfairly bum rap. In reality, we all need carbohydrates to live. They’re the primary fuel that our muscles burn to keep us active, and they’re the ONLY source of energy utilized by our brains. And despite what advertisements or fad diets claim, carbohydrates can’t be blamed for extra inches to your waistline.

Fact is, clinical studies show there is no association between potato consumption and obesity.1 These aren’t some fat-laden, processed food. They are a nutrient rich vegetable that—yes—has carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean they’ll up the number on your bathroom scale. Potatoes can actually be a fantastic addition to any weight management program as they’re highly satisfying and jam-packed with nutrients and filling fiber. Now there’s some food for thought.

Myth #2: Potatoes have a high glycemic index (GI).

This one’s easy because the numbers don’t lie. The GI of potatoes is highly variable, so this whole “Potatoes always have a high GI, so I’m steering clear” thing is totally unreasonable. The glycemic index is not a set property of a food but rather depends on a variety of different factors, including processing and preparation; variety, origin and maturity; and the addition of other macronutrients (protein, fat and fiber). For example, the GI for potato varieties range from a low of 56 for a boiled Pontiac potato grown in Australia to a high of 111 for a baked U.S. Russet Burbank.2 Myth disproven? Yeah, we thought so too.

Myth #3: All of potatoes’ nutrients are found in the skin.

Wrong again. There are countless potato lovers who insist that peeling a potato reduces the nutritional value to next-to-nothing. But the truth is, the only nutrient that’s significantly lost when you peel a potato is fiber (you’ll go from about 2g to 1g after peeling). The good news is that the majority of a potato’s valuable potassium and vitamin C are found in the flesh.

Myth #4: Sweet potatoes are healthier than white ones.

For this particular myth, it all comes down to prep and perception. First off, white potatoes are commonly consumed in a highly processed form, like French fries for instance, while sweet potatoes tend to be enjoyed in a more natural state. Of course this discrepancy makes a difference to the nutrition value of a dish, but we can’t credit that to the potatoes themselves, but rather the preparation method and added ingredients.

What’s more, there is very comparable nutrition between sweet and white potatoes, but it’s just focused on different things. For instance, where sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, white potatoes have more iron and magnesium. So it’s really more of a tradeoff than a competition.

Myth #5: Potatoes are just empty calories.

We’re going to keep this one short simply because this idea is just downright ridiculous. Yes, potatoes are starchy, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing more to offer than calories. The average unpeeled spud is actually incredibly nutrient dense with 3g of protein, 620mg of potassium, 2 g of fiber, 45% DV of vitamin C, 10% DV of vitamin B6, plus ZERO sodium, ZERO fat and only 110 calories. Case closed.

So, we hope that helps clear up some of the untruths surrounding spuds these days. Next time someone brings up one of these potato myths, you can tell them they’re full of sprouts! Happy April Fool’s Day!

Sources
1 Center for Disease Control, Economic Research Service, USDA, Vegetables and Specialties Situation and Outlook Yearbook, 2008; CDC 2008
2 http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/13/health/peeling-away-potato-myths/

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wenday 😀