Published on August 17, 2022

Celebrate the Potato

In honor of National Potato Day, August 19th, let's talk taters.

The potato can be one versatile vegetable, and is loved by most but has a tendency to be scorned by many especially if you’re trying to eat healthy. White potatoes are rich in potassium (even more than a banana!), Vitamin C, B6 and fiber just to name a few key nutrients to keep your immune system in check.

Did you know there are over 200 varieties of potatoes grown in the US, with more than 4,000 grown world-wide?

So why does this white, starchy, nutrient packed veggie get such a bad rap? Thanks to its versatility, it can be cooked many different ways, including baked, broiled, steamed, grilled, and of course deep fried; otherwise known as the French fry. This naturally fat free food then becomes soaked with saturated fats quite easily. Other methods such as mashing or baking also lend to this delectable but rather dull vegetable to be donned and adorned with half and half, butter, sour cream, gravy or cheese sauces.

Let’s not forget that, as you can easily see in the grocery store, potatoes come in all shapes and sizes. A serving size for potatoes should roughly be 3 ounces, or equivalent to 3 small redskins. I encourage you to weigh your potato the next time you’re at the store. You might be surprised that most bulk baking or russet potatoes are well more than double or triple that weight. And that’s just for one!

What’s the best way to have your potato and eat it too??

This dietitian loves skewering up fingerling potatoes or small round redskins and placing them on the grill with other rich tasting veggies such as peppers, onions and mushrooms. You can easily marinade with a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil, pepper, garlic powder or Dijon mustard. Baked potatoes, especially cut in half and shared can be topped with lycopene-rich salsa or chili, some avocado and just a sprinkling of cheese. And don’t forget to eat the skin!