Have you noticed that most people don't consider the humble potato to be a vegetable?
Have you noticed that most people don't consider the humble potato to be healthy?
Have you noticed that most people are so very often wrong?
Potatoes are loaded with nutrients and low in calories.
They have vitamins C and B6, potassium, copper, manganese and dietary
offer cardiovascular protection, have a potential for lowering
blood pressure and have a variety of phytonutrients with antioxidant
Unfortunately the things we do to the poor spud can bury all of the benefits in mounds of fat and calories.
All values are for a medium potato, (about the size of a woman's fist) 5oz (150gr) after cooking:
Baked, including skin: 140 calories and 32 carbs.
Braised in stock, including skin: 140 calories and 32 carbs.
Fried potato, in 2 tsp olive oil: 180 calories and 32 carbs
And then we start to get serious….
Baked, including skin with 2 tbs sour cream, 1 tbs butter: 288 calories and 34 carbs.
Baked, topped with Cheese Sauce and Bacon: 375 calories and 35 carbs.
French Fries, in vegetable oil: 478 calories and 57 carbs.
Now you know: potatoes, when fixed properly, can be a part of a healthy diet.
I grew up with plain, boiled, Idaho potatoes on the table every day.
Eventaully I learned that there was more than 1 kind of potato.
I moved to Ireland – the Irish know their potatoes.
The first time I made a beef stew, the potatoes disappeared.
I have no idea what kind of potatoes they were, I hadn't paid any attention. They were just potatoes, after all. But they had completely disintegrated in the stew. The stew was lovely and thick and very, very good, but without any chunks of potato.
Then, in France, I was introduced to new potatoes – those lovely golf ball size nuggets that appear each spring.
Oh sure, I'd had small potatoes before: they came in plastic bags and who knew when they'd been harvested.
These are different.
They still had dirt around them.
Dare I say it? I fell in love with the little guys.
They come in their very own box with all sorts of government stamps and certifications, along with the date they were harvested… In this case, it was the day before I bought them.
I can honestly say these are the best potatoes I have ever had.
Not just a little better, a whole bunch better.
On a scale of 1 – 10, these are a 10 with all the other potatoes in the world barely getting past 4.
They may not look like much…. And I'd offer to share, but they're gone.
Gone from my pantry; gone from the store until next year.
How did I prepare them? Mostly just tossed lightly with olive oil and roasted for about 25 minutes.
Here I tossed them with a bit of butter, some sea salt and fresh, snipped basil after I took them out of the oven.
I didn't want to mess with them. Some things just need to be left to shine on their own.
To find new potatoes, real new potatoes you either have to grow them yourself, find a reliable farmer's market or live someplace where they are truly prized – like France. I hear rumors that England is rather fond of them also….