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All Eyes on Potatoes

Most people like potatoes because they are fairly inexpensive and can be used in many ways on your menu. Have you made potato soup, garlic mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potatoes or baked fries?
All Eyes on Potatoes

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Potatoes sometimes have the reputation of being “fattening.” Actually, some of the toppings that you add to a potato may add a lot of calories. If you like higher-calorie toppings such as bacon, sour cream and cheese, add a smaller amount to trim the calories.

  • A medium-sized red potato (about 3 inches in diameter) with skin has 150 calories, 0.3 grams (g) fat, 4 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 3.6 g fiber and 38 milligrams sodium.
  • Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C, and they provide many other vitamins and minerals. Potassium helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Did you know? North Dakota is a leading producer of potatoes in the U.S.

Bake them.
Here’s how to make a baked potato with a tender, flaky texture. Start with a “baking potato” such as a brown-skinned Russet:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Rinse the potatoes under cold running water and scrub with a vegetable brush.
  • Dry with a paper towel.
  • Remove any bruises with the tip of a knife.
  • Poke with a fork or knife four or five times (to allow the steam to escape during baking and avoid a mess in your oven).
  • For crisp skin, rub the outside lightly with vegetable oil and salt lightly.
  • Bake about 45 minutes.
  • Note: Alternatively, you can bake potatoes at 350 F for 60 minutes.

Top them creatively with these ideas:

  • Leftover chili with kidney beans
  • Leftover broccoli-cheese soup
  • Shredded roast chicken, beef or pork mixed with barbecue sauce
  • Plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with chives
  • Salsa and finely shredded cheddar cheese

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

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