When I ask my clients if there are any foods they gravitate towards or steer away from, I often get the following response: “I avoid all grains, and potatoes”, to which I reply, “Stop hating on the potato”.
Most of us start off loving potatoes, maybe because of our beloved Mr. Potato Heads (such a favourite childhood toy of mine, along with hot wheels, polly pocket, muffin dolls, light brite, etc. Haha. Geez, I guess it’s hashtagthrowbacksunday). Then, with all the anti-carb propaganda out there, some come to avoid potatoes like the plague. Potatoes are not responsible for all the bad in this world. Many of the detrimental health effects we associate with potatoes have nothing to do with the veg itself but rather our inclination to fry it, drown it in butter and douse it in cream cheese/sour cream/bacon bits, etc. I’m going to go ahead and make myself the potato PR girl. Potatoes do not deserve their bad rap. If we treated kale the same (smother it in butter and bury it in bacon bits), kale would probably have a pretty bad reputation as well.
Here are potatoes’ player stats, per cup of them:
- 1100 mg potassium (an essential electrolyte key to hydration and athletic performance)
- 42% DV for Vitamin C
- 4.2 g protein. Speaking of protein, potatoes contain lysine, an essential amino acid generally absent in grains.
- 21% DV for vitamin B6 (this vitamin may be low profile, but it helps our brain produce essential hormones)
- Source of copper (helps produce hormones and red blood cells)
Potatoes contain a type of resistant starch which scientists think could help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Potatoes do contain carbohydrates, which help boost energy, participate in brain function and prevent low blood sugar.
Consuming them with their skin maximizes nutrition load (espesh the fiber). Note: please wash thoroughly!
I think I’ve painted a pretty picture for the potato, despite my non-artisness.
A bit of history: the potato was brought to North America by Irish immigrants during the early 18th century. And if there’s anything history tells us, it’s that potatoes can sustain people during times of famine. 🙂
Potatoes in their processed form, like potato chips, however, do deserve their reputation. When potatoes are processed and/or cooked at high temperatures, a toxic substance called acrylamide forms, which has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. High levels of acrylamide are the result of frying and baking potatoes at high temperatures and for long periods of time.
Speaking of potatoes, if there’s one food that springs to my mind when I think of potlucks, it’s potato salads. They aim to please and are the ultimate comfort food. However, this badass potato salad is a deluxe version of it and really steals the show. Unprocessed potato in all its glory. And Oh Lordy is all the fresh dill contained divine. It’s every potato lover’s dream come true.
Hunger-Satisfying Spud Salad
Yield: 6-8 servings.
- 3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 cup Vegenaise or 1 avocado
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1.5 tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup pickles, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add in the potatoes and cook for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are sufficiently soft.
- Drain potatoes in a colander and allow to cool.
- Combine all ingredients (minus the potatoes) in a large bowl, and when the potatoes are cooled, cut into smaller pieces and add into the mix.
studs spuds! Shine on, dear potato!