Lisa Lansing

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Potatoes are healthier than you think

Photo by NehaAurangabadkar / Getty Images Pro

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. Unfortunately, a vegan dish doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy one. I think potatoes are perfectly delicious on their own; how could anyone spoil them with fatty toppings?

Potatoes are perfect

I recommend trying potatoes plain without added fat. Steamed, boiled, or baked potatoes without oil are healthy, low in calories, and high in fibre. 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 fibre. 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, colour, 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 cook potatoes

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. Oil-free baked potato chips are just as delicious too.

How do you like your potatoes?

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