After a long day of walking (almost 15 miles!), I am getting ready to tuck into my second dinner of steamed baby potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, and broccoli. I should have been working on my daily blog post but I am a well-practised procrastinator. Instead, I found myself reading about potatoes online and scrolling through pages of potato photos. Yep, this is what vegans do in their spare time!
Potatoes get a bad wrap because they are usually eaten fried or smothered in butter, sour cream, various cheeses, and bacon crumbles. Even the veganised versions of these foods are super fatty…vegan doesn’t mean healthy, unfortunately! Potatoes are perfect on their own; how could anyone spoil them with pure fat?
Skip the fat and eat potatoes plain. Steamed, boiled, or baked potatoes eaten without oil or salt are healthy, low in calories, and high in fiber. Potatoes are widely available and cheap, too. Eat these spuds with abandon!
Check out the nutritional profile of a kilo of potatoes (a typical serving size for my dinner):
A kilo of potatoes gives me 760 calories and a third of my daily protein. Potatoes are also high in vitamin C, several B vitamins, and a good number of minerals.
Here are some potato facts I learned from The World’s Healthiest Foods:
- The scientific name for a potato is Solanum tuberosum. Solanum comes from the Latin word for “soothing.” Potatoes are soothing, indeed!
- Eat the skins. Potato skins contain most of the fiber. I don’t peel potatoes because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered, so that’s good news to me.
- There are around 100 different types of potatoes. Mature potatoes are large ones while new potatoes (like baby potatoes and fingerlings) are smaller and harvested before they reach maturity. These potato varieties vary in starch content too, not just in size, color, or flavour. How interesting! Looks like I need to expand my potato repertoire.
- Potatoes are originally from South America, specifically the Andean mountain region.
- Spanish explorers introduced potatoes to Europe. Spanish ships stocked potatoes to prevent scurvy since they are good sources of vitamin C.
My favourite way to prepare potatoes is to steam them. We use a two-tier steamer to prepare our dinners. Rinse the potatoes well and cut them, then steam for approximately 30 minutes. Small potatoes like baby potatoes don’t need to be cut. (We think they taste better that way!) Sweet potatoes take 15-20 minutes to steam. Alternatively, you can use a large pot and steamer basket.
I should procrastinate by researching my favourite foods more often. I learned a lot and hope you did too.
How do you like your potatoes?