Potatoes: February’s Harvest of the Month

HEALTH BENEFITS, TIPS FOR SHOPPING, AND RECIPES FOR MEALS WITH POTATOES

Each month, the North Country Region of Eat Smart NY chooses a locally-grown fruit or vegetable to feature as its “Harvest of the Month” — providing nutritional information about that ingredient, as well as tips for purchasing or preparing it. The Harvest of the Month for February 2018 are potatoes!

Why They’re So Great

Eating a half-cup of potatoes is a good way to get vitamin C. Potatoes also have many important vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, niacin, and potassium. Niacin is a type of B-vitamin that helps your body make energy — it is also found in black-eyed peas, low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, turkey and tuna.

Potatoes are also a good source of potassium, low in sodium and naturally fat and cholesterol free.

Shopper’s Tips

When shopping for potatoes, look for those that are firm, have smooth skin, and are free of sprouts. Avoid buying potatoes with any green coloring. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, and dry place (not in the refrigerator). Put in a plastic bag with holes for up to five weeks.

Wash each potato thoroughly before cooking, and do not use potatoes that have sprouted or softened.

Healthy Serving Ideas

Potatoes can be eaten in many healthy ways — baked, broiled, roasted, mashed, and in soups, stews, or casseroles.

Try sprinkling potato wedges with chopped garlic and Italian seasoning, then bake them at 400℉ for 7 minutes. Flip the wedges over, sprinkle the other side, and finish baking for another 7 minutes for a hot and crispy side dish. You can also bake a whole potato, and top it with low-fat sour cream and other toppings, like avocado and salsa, broccoli and low-fat cheddar cheese, or chopped tomatoes and bell peppers.

Try out this recipe to make an “Herb Potato Salad” as a side dish for your family!

potatoes

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
¼ tablespoon salt
5 small potatoes (about 1 pound)
½ radish (sliced, optional)
½ teaspoon basil (dried)
¼ teaspoon thyme (dried)
¼ teaspoon onion powder
3 tablespoons plain, non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1½ teaspoons prepared mustard
½ teaspoon garlic (chopped)

Instructions:
1. Scrub potatoes and cut into cubes.
2. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil.
3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes. Drain.
4. Mix dressing ingredients.
5. Combine hot potatoes, dressing, radishes, basil, thyme, and onion powder.
6. Serve hot or cold, and enjoy!

Notes:
The mustard and seasoning make this a tasty potato salad.
Try using new red potatoes for added color.

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