Throughout America, potatoes are the most popular vegetable, even being ahead of other well known vegetables such as lettuce and onions. You can cook potatoes in a variety of ways, and they are included in one out of three meals eaten by almost all Americans. When they are prepared in a healthy way, a potato can be an excellent source of energy and also pack a nutritional punch.
Like oranges, potatoes are very high in vitamin C. The fact is, one medium potato contains 45% of the vitamin C that’s recommended for good health. Potatoes are also high in fiber and carbohydrates, and contain more potassium than a banana.
A potato is naturally low in calories and contains no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. The skins of the potatoes provide a helpful dose of fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and several B vitamins.
Potatoes are naturally gluten free (yeeeesss!), they were the first vegetable successfully grown in outer space (what?!), each year there is over 1 million acres of potatoes prepped and planted, it’s the leading vegetable crop in the United States, and the world’s largest potato was grown in 2010 in the UK! Weighing in just over 8 lbs., think the size of a baby! Wowza!
In the United States, there are 7 types of potatoes grown. Russet, round white, long white, red, yellow, blue & purple, and fingerlings. It is one of the largest farmed crops nationwide.
You can prepare potatoes by boiling them, steaming them, sautéing, mashing, or even roasting them. If at all possible, you should avoid putting potatoes in the refrigerator or freezing them, as cold will turn the potato starch to sugar and cause them to turn dark when they are cooked.
When storing potatoes, keep them in a cool, dark place. Too much light will cause them to turn green. You can store them in the basement if you have one, or in a deep kitchen drawer that’s meant to hold heavy bud type produce. Some people I know put their potatoes in the covered bin that’s meant to hold bread. Hey, wherever in your kitchen works!
From mashed potatoes to baked potatoes, a potato is something we all know and love. They serve many different tasty foods, and they provide our bodies with plenty of healthful benefits. Whether you grow your own or buy them, the potato is the one vegetable that is so versatile and can be made in many different ways to spruce up a dish.