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Spectacular Spuds

Here’s a fun fact–according to the USDA, each American eats 112 pounds of potatoes each year.  Now, that’s a lot of spuds!  Of course, it’s no wonder since potatoes are so delicious and versatile.  One thing many people don’t realize is how nutritious these tasty veggies are.  Potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, high in Vitamin C and a good source of potassium.  The key is how you prepare them–many times it’s the high fat/calorie toppings that give potatoes a bad rap.

 

Since September is National Potato Month, I decided to share some healthy ways to serve up one of America’s favorite vegetables. I know I have relied on taking a large potato and placing it in the microwave to “bake” it quickly for a filling meal.  Then top it with some low-fat toppings.  My personal favorites include cooked broccoli, low-fat shredded cheddar cheese and stewed tomatoes.  A more gourmet version is Fruits & Veggies More Matters recipe for Potato Skins with Buffalo Chicken.  This healthy plate has the flavor of buffalo chicken wings minus all the fat and calories.

 

potato skins

 

Potatoes can also make great main dish meals.  In addition, they can be used as substitutes for grains in some traditional dishes like this recipe for Quick and Healthy Gluten Free Potato Lasagna.  Layered Yukon Gold potatoes take the place of lasagna noodles in this dish, while turkey sausage and fat-free ricotta cheese reduces the calorie count.

 

US Potato Board

 
One of my personal favorite ways to enjoy potatoes is by roasting them.  I love this cooking method because it brings out the natural flavor of the potato and because you can enhance them with so many different herbs and spices.  Think rosemary and garlic or something like this recipe for Chipotle and Lime Roasted Potatoes.  This only takes 10 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes in the oven.  Fresh cilantro is added to the potatoes right before serving for added flavor.
 

roasted potatoes

 

Visit this great “Pototo Types” board courtesy of the US Potato Board and check out the different kinds of potatoes there are.  You’ll be surprised to see the vibrant hue of purple that are along the usual white and red-skinned potatoes.  And, be sure to add more of these healthy veggies to your meals in celebration this month!

 

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