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Celebrate Potatoes in August

Celebrate Potatoes in August

 

                August may bring to mind ideas of the beginning of school and the end of summer but one often overlooked celebration is National Potato Day celebrated on August 19th

                National Potato Day is a day to celebrate and enjoy a few potatoes. The versatile spud can be enjoyed in some way for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack. While it can be eaten raw, it is usually cooked, boiled, baked or fried.

                Potatoes are one of the largest vegetable crops in the world. They were first cultivated in Peru, around 5,000- 7,000 BC.  While most potatoes grow to about the size of your fist or less, the largest potato ever grown, weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces.  Some other fun potato facts and trivia:

  • Thomas Jefferson first introduced French Fries to the White House during his presidency.
  • Potato Chips were invented by Chef George Crum in Saratoga Springs, NY on August 24, 1853.
  • Americans consume 30 pounds of potatoes per person per year of which 1/4th are consumed as French Fries.  

        Most of the nutrients are found in the skin of the potato.  Potatoes have more potassium than a banana.  One medium-sized (5.3oz) skin-on potato has just 110 calories. Potatoes have no fat, sodium or cholesterol. You will find nearly half your daily value of vitamin C. in a medium size potato plus they are a good source of vitamin B6.

                With over 45 million pounds of potatoes grown in the U.S. each year plus zucchini found in most home gardens, the following combination may be a new family favorite.

 

Potato Zucchini Casserole Recipe

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes, sliced
  • 3 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

 

Directions:

                Butter a 2 quart casserole dish and add a layer of 1/2 of zucchini slices. Sprinkle with half of grated cheese and bread crumbs. Add dots of butter, and a little of the garlic. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Add a layer of 1/2 of potatoes. Add cheese, bread crumbs, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.

        Repeat layers. Add water on top.  

        Cover and bake in oven for one hour. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes to brown the top.  Serve hot.

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