Potatoes…the options are endless when it comes to adding the common spud to your dinner menu. Potatoes…one of the few foods that can easily make an appearance at any meal or snack. Potatoes… plentiful vegetable that often gets a bad rap when it comes to health. We’d like to celebrate National Potato Day with a little information on why potatoes serve as such a staple in our diets, the best potatoes for every cooking method (including Instant Pot!) and why potatoes don’t need to be totally shunned if you’re following a healthy nutritional plan. And of course, we’ve got some great new signature recipes for you to try!
Potatoes are the fourth largest crop grown in the world (behind corn, wheat and rice). While we in the U.S. may think that Idaho is the biggest producer, it may surprise you to know that 37% of the world’s supply of potatoes comes from China and India! There are over 5,000 varieties (WOW!) but those most familiar to us are white, russet, yellow, red and sweet. Because they are relatively inexpensive, they serve as important part of diets all over the world.
In the U.S., we’re used to seeing white and red-skinned potatoes in the grocery store. Did you know that each potato performs differently depending on the cooking method? Not all potatoes cook alike!
BUT POTATOES ARE UNHEALTHY!
Potatoes get such a bad rap – they are high in carbs, high on the glycemic index, etc etc. While they aren’t something that we should eat every day, potatoes actually carry some decent nutrition in a small package and can be incorporated into a healthy diet without worry. A medium white potato weighs in at about 160 calories, 4 grams of fiber and pack a potassium punch with about 20% of the recommended potassium for a healthy adult. Feel free to try these healthy recipes, guilt-free. Our signature recipe designer lightened them up a bit to make them healthier than traditional recipes. Remember, everything in moderation in a healthy diet!
Rich scalloped potatoes make for a great side dish. In this recipe, we’ve lightened it up a bit and added ham and broccoli so you can serve this as a main dish alongside a salad for a delicious evening meal. You can easily adjust this by changing out the meat, or exchanging broccoli for other vegetables like asparagus. You can peel the potatoes if you like, but we prefer to leave them on for extra nutrition.
2 lbs white or red-skinned potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick (use a mandoline slicer for best results)
1 lb cubed ham (substitute with chopped chicken or turkey for lighter fare)
1.5 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp plain Greek fat free yogurt
½ tsp salt
4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp thyme
Pinch red pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired
2 oz sharp cheddar, shredded for topping