Sunday, January 8, 2012

Potato Po-tat-o or Potatoe?

This is just funny. 

I get sick and tired of the potato getting a bad rap! Sure when you deep fry it in fat and add a mountain of cheese the nutritional value is depleted, same is true for broccoli! Being of half Irish descent, I feel I must come to the defense of this wonderful vegetable! There are so many ways to cook a potato that's healthy and tasty! Many fad diets warn of potato consumption, and thats rubbish! So lets set the record straight.

For starters potatoes are a good source of Copper,Manganese,Vitamin C, B6, Potassium and fiber; all good things! There has also been a study done in which potatoes were compared to broccoli in regards to there Phenols content (phenols are a potent antioxidants, and antioxidants attack free radicals, free radicals cause cancer).  The results; Potatoes had more of them! For more on this study, see link;

One baked potato provides you with almost 12% of the RDI of Fiber (although, I suggest more fiber then the recommend daily intake). The skin is where the fiber is, so don't peel it, eat it!

Potatoes show promise for your heart! UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine.

As previously stated, they also contain B6 which is vital for may actions in your body, B6 (pyridoxine); Essential for protein digestion and utilization, brain function, and hormone production. Helps balance sex hormones, that’s why it’s used for PMS and menopause. Natural sources; Watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, bananas. Squash, broccoli, potatoes,asparagus, lentils, brussel sprouts, onions. Some nuts and seeds.

Now that we know a few great reasons why potatoes are wonderful, I want to share some tasty ideas on how to serve them without mucking them up with fat and other please see below!

I LOVE french fries! Who doesn't? However, we all know how bad they are for are waistline, so a real easy way to ENJOY a french fry without all the bad stuff; take one potato, slice it up lengthwise, (after its washed and scrubbed) take a ziplock bag put 1 tbsp of olive oil and any dry herbs you like,  then add sliced potato, shake it around till its well coated then put them on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven to desired crispiness! I tell you it's delicious and you aren't tainting that amazing little spud, actually enhancing it with a good fat, and herbs which have there own healthy components! (preheat oven to 400 or 425, play with the temp to see what works best or you, I love mine extra crispy) and if you want to speed things up, par boil  them first(or put it in the microwave for 5 minutes then slice, then put in the broiler...but if you do it this way KEEP AN EYE ON THEM, they will burn fast! Microwaves are not good for us or our food, but I still haven't been able to kick the habit completely! So try to use them as little as possible.

I also really dig a good stuffed potato, it keeps me full without the calories, sometimes I top it with a 1/2 can or 1 cup of homemade vegetarian chili, stuff it with broccoli mushrooms and onions with garlic and herbs, Garlic is amazing with potatoes!   These types of meals leave you feeling full but not "heavy". 

Another quick preparation is some fresh chopped chives with greek yogurt, fresh garlic and a dash of salt and pepper! 

A plain potato and some hot sauce is also great!

Pasta sauce taste pretty good and it's quick. 

Gaucomole is another favorite of mine, I find it pairs well with a potato.

Sweet potatoes can also be paired with herbs and spices not just marshmallows, sugar and butter. Try pairing it with olive oil, garlic and thyme, or sage and rosemary!  Sweet potatoes are great for you because they also contain a generous amount of beta carotene.

So what's your favorite healthy way to enjoy a potato?  

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