(NC) - Nutrition experts recommend eating brightly coloured vegetables more often. However, potatoes are surprisingly nutritious! Potatoes are rich in potassium and vitamin C. They also contain vitamin B-6, niacin, magnesium, folic acid, and iron. Moreover, potatoes are relatively low in calories, and are virtually fat-free. Potatoes are available year round, are economical, and are probably the most versatile vegetable in the world in terms of the variety of ways they can be cooked. Including potatoes along with brightly coloured vegetables and fruit can help you reach the goal of 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Toronto Public Health recommends inviting vegetables and fruit into every meal and snack to help you meet this goal.
Remember these tips when inviting potatoes along...
Choose potatoes that are firm, well shaped and blemish-free.
Eat potatoes with the skin in order to increase the dietary fibre content. Make sure to scrub the skin clean when washing them.
Prepare potatoes from scratch instead of using convenience products for the most nutritional value without the extra fat and salt.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well ventilated space for up to 2 weeks. The vitamin C content of potatoes decreases gradually over time.
Cut or scrape off any green spots from the potato. They are caused by prolonged light exposure and can be toxic if eaten in quantity.
Be aware that adding butter, margarine, oil and mayonnaise to potatoes will increase both the fat and calorie contents.
Try different varieties of potatoes: Russet are excellent for baking and frying; Yukon Gold are ideal for mashed potatoes; new potatoes or white potatoes are great for boiling and roasting.
To prevent the flesh of the potato from darkening on contact with air, cook it as soon as it is cut or place it in cold water until you are ready to use it.