Potatoes are famous tubers whose deliciousness and edibility have spanned much of the globe for centuries. Would you be surprised if you discovered that potatoes have been around for about 10,000 years? That’s right! Originally cultivated in South America, potatoes are almost as ancestral as the human species itself. By the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors introduced to the tuber into Europe and it’s been a part of Western culinary culture ever since.

Fast forwarding to the present reality, potatoes are notably one of the largest vegetable crops you’ll come across in the United States. Their indispensable relevance as a staple food all around the planet cannot be disputed. In the United States alone, the average individual (not even a foodie) consumes about 35kg of potato on an annual basis!

Healthy food?

Many people think of potatoes as being full of carbohydrates, starches and empty calories, but here are some facts:
  • A medium sized, plain baked potato (with skin) has a mere 160 calories and is fat- and cholesterol-free.
  • Each normal sized potato contains roughly 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
  • Research suggests that potatoes are better than consuming pasta because of their ability to curb appetite.
  • Potatoes provide vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron.
  • Also rich in potassium (a mineral that may help reduce sodium’s effects on your blood pressure), a medium potato gives your body roughly 20% of the recommended daily value for potassium.

But it really depends on how you cook them

Of course, just because potatoes are considered healthy by themselves, many of us are used to the very unhealthy ways in which they’re prepared. The more butter, oils and grease you add to the equation, then of course potatoes lose their health benefits. Let us look at some of the ways we can safely cook our potatoes for a good healthy meal.

Mediterranean style potatoes are delicious and simple to make. Simply preheat your oven to a temperature of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw some potatoes in some boiling water to cook them up. After a brief interval of around 5 minutes, strain the potatoes from the water and cut them into pieces. Place the cut pieces of potatoes on a baking sheet, sprinkle some fresh rosemary and throw them in the oven until golden brown. After you take them out, you may salt them lightly if you wish. Then dash whatever additional herbs or spices over the golden beauties. Finally, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over your potatoes for a Mediterranean styled delight!

Alternatively, you can also simply keep boiling the potatoes until they’re nice and soft. After straining the potatoes from the boiled water, puree them in a blender, or simply squish them with a spoon/fork in a bowl until nice and smooth. Add either real butter or sour cream to the puree and stir in until nice and creamy. Sprinkle some nice cracked pepper on top and whatever herbs or spices you want to add and voila! A delicious potato dish is served!

Of course, potatoes aren’t going anywhere. They’re just too good and too readily available. Just make sure to enjoy in moderation (as with all things). The health benefits are there, and so is the taste. The two simple recipes we suggested above represent exactly that!

So go on, enjoy your potatoes to the fullest!

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