Potatoes are a healthy food. Full of fiber and potassium, this amazing vegetable has gained its rightful place at lunch and dinner tables across the country.
For many years potatoes were known as a food to be avoided. Known as a fattening and unhealthy food, the potato was to be avoided by people wanting to lose weight or eat healthy. Time and research has changed all that. Concerns of fat and sodium have been proven false. There is very little fat or sodium in a potato unless you add it yourself. Sour cream, butter and salt added to potatoes make them high in fat and sodium, but the potato alone or with low-fat spices and condiments is highly nutritious and delicious. The potato has now gained its rightful place at lunch and dinner tables everywhere.
The positive nutritional value in potatoes includes high fiber, high potassium, and low fat. Fiber research has shown that potatoes have one of the best sources of fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol. Research findings have also reported that a diet including potassium helps in deterring strokes and lowering blood pressure. Boiling potatoes will decrease the amount of potassium in them. It is best to bake or steam to retain nutrients.
Growing your own potatoes is, of course, the best way to get the greatest nutrients. When that is not possible potatoes can be purchased at any grocery store. There are different types of potatoes but that basic premise for buying will be the same. Look for potatoes that are firm and shaped well. Do not purchase potatoes that are green or that have sprouted. Green potatoes signal that solanine is present. Solanine is a substance that can give you diarrhea, vomiting, sleepiness, or itching. Although a single potato would not have nearly the amount of solanine to give you these symptoms, it is still best to avoid potatoes that have are green or have green spots. Solanine can affect that flavor of a potato.
Potatoes keep best in a cool place away from the light. A cellar or a cool basement is a perfect place for storing potatoes. Do not store in the refrigerator for best keeping. Potatoes can pick up the flavor of apples if stored by them. As you are ready to use potatoes, check them again for sprouting and green color. These can be cut out and the potato is still usable. Scrub potatoes well before using. A clean scrub brush or cloth can be used for this purpose.
Cooking and using potatoes is fun and diversified. Baking, steaming, boiling, mashing, and frying are the most common ways to cook and use.