Potayto, Potahto… Why Potatoes Are So Good for You

Real quick shout out to my sistercousinfriend who I’ve called Potato since I could speak. This is dedicated to you (and that other potato). I promise to never try to cook you like I would real potatoes, but I do love ya just as much.

Anyways! Luckily for me (and that other potato’s fame) potatoes are a really awesome, versatile food to have in your diet. And because of that basically everyone loves them… and I can write an entire piece centered around why.

Baby-Jess never liked the skin on her potatoes no matter how they were prepared. Baked, fried, bits of skin in the mash – no thank you. Potato But now, you bet I do! I ditched my issue with the texture and gained an appreciation for the earthiness of it. The skin and the surface just below hold the highest concentration of nutrients you get from potatoes. The rest is about 70-80% water containing necessary ions to keep your body movin’. We need more than water to feed our bodies though so try your hardest to eat the whole thing – skin included (Side note: make sure you always wash your veggies before cooking with or consuming them)!

Besides water potatoes are stuffed with vitamins A, B6 and C, iron and other minerals. One potato contains about 60% of your daily intake of vitamin B (say hello to healthy skin!) and 25-50% of your daily intake of iron. Who needs red meat? Not me. All of these vitamins have anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant properties to defend against major diseases too. Agricultural research has shown that potatoes contain quercetin – a compound that is linked to cardiovascular health, diabetes management, and cancer prevention. Potatoes are also a rich source of potassium and magnesium which are known to help stimulate muscle contraction which regulates heart beat and blood pressure.  However, don’t forget the skin contains about 75% of each of these vitamins and minerals!

Now that we are basically nutrition experts on potatoes we can talk about all the ways we can eat them! YES. Get excited.

  1. Baked: Get out the aluminum foil and have yourself a traditional baked potato (don’t forget the chives on top); or cut ’em up to be baked as bite-size wedges.
  2. Fried: Crinkle cut, curly, straight-edge, waffle – whatever shape your heart (tummy) desires potatoes got you covered.
  3. Mashed: This is by far my favorite way to eat potatoes. Put them in pierogies. Eat them topped with sliced portobellos and mushroom gravy. Or plop them on top of a pie and call it Shepherd. I could probably eat an entire pound of any of these if someone would let me.
  4. Roasted: Sliced or diced and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper – this preparation is super easy and super nomz!
  5. Soup: Throwing together whatever you have in the kitchen? Better make sure you keep some potatoes handy for a hearty stew!
  6. Gnocchi: Dumplings are potatoes as potatoes are dumplings. It’s just a fact of life.
  7. Cannoli cream: WHAT?! You read that right. I have yet to try this, but you bet I’m going to! … as soon as I get my butt off the couch when I’m done here (or maybe that’s ambitious because I’m going out of town tomorrow and actually need to pack – but when I’m back I’m making cannolis!). **Update: I tried the vegan cannoli cream and it is THE BOMB. Check it here!

Okay I’m out of ideas. I’m sure there are other ways though because these sacks of starch are amazing and versatile (I’ll stop saying that now I promise).

What other dishes do you make with your potatoes ? Let me know! But don’t bring up sweet potatoes. OMG. That’s a whoooole ‘nother Nomz. As always, comments are appreciated. Much Love & Many Nomz!

– J


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