Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DAILY Double- Potatoes are NOT the Enemy!

For those of you who vowed to never again eat potatoes because they are fattening, high in carbs, or considered forbidden because they completely sabotage your weight loss efforts--I am here to tell you:  POTATOES ARE NOT THE ENEMY!

Let's take a look at potatoes. First of all, they contain more potassium than bananas! They are cheap, filling, can be prepared hundreds of different ways and are the ultimate comfort food! 

Potatoes are also a great source of vitamins C and B. They contain no fat or cholesterol and minimal sodium. What they do have is natural fiber in the skins, all those vitamins and minerals and great flavor. And a six-ounce potato contains 2 grams of highly digestible protein, almost as much as half a glass of milk, making it a great foundation for a whole meal.

Sounds pretty healthy to me!

Potatoes are NOT the enemy! It's the way we prepare our potatoes and what we pile on top of them!

Listed on the menu at just about every restaurant is a LOADED potato.
Oven baked to perfection and then completely destroyed with toppings: butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon! And this is served as a side dish to accompany that steak, burger or fish you order! Fattening? You bet! Unhealthy? Don't even get me started! And the really sad part: most people will eat all the toppings and some of the potato flesh and leave the skin behind! That's the best part- it contains most of the nutrients. When I was younger, I never ate the potato skin because I thought it was dirty. I sincerely hope the potatoes are scrubbed before baking BUT now I look at this way. My potato is tossed into a 450+ degree oven and baked. Nothing is going to survive that kind of heat!

Consider some other ways we prepare potatoes: fried, mashed and mixed with butter and cream, sliced and baked with milk and cheese (potatoes au gratin), tossed with mayo and sour cream for potato salad. Even worse: pre-packaged, processed instant potato mixes!  Delicious? You bet--but loaded with fat and calories. No wonder you avoid potatoes............

When was the last time you actually tasted a potato without all the oil, grease, fat, and toppings? Do you even know what an actual potato tastes like? I love potatoes plain with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper. But most find plain potatoes rather bland so you might want to dress them up a bit!

Here are a few healthier ways to enjoy potatoes:

Make your own french fries. Wash, cut into long, thick slices (like steak fries), toss with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, season with spices (Cajun spices are delicious on potatoes) and spread them out on a baking pan in the oven. Bake until they're exactly how you want them! These are so good, you will never want greasy old french fries again!.

Mash them. Boil up several potatoes (leave the skins on) and mash them up with a potato masher or a fork. I prefer them nice and lumpy but it's your choice. Mix in lots of fresh roasted garlic and use vegetable broth to moisten them instead of cream and butter. You can also add fresh herbs and spices to your mashed potatoes: chives, thyme, rosemary, tarragon (for a French flair). The more you add, the tastier your potatoes will be and no one will ever miss all that butter and cream!

Make potato salad. It's summer. It's BBQ season and who doesn't love potato salad? But all that mayonaisse and sour cream doesn't love us! Try this healthier version: Potato Salad with Tomatoes and Red Onion Relish .  This recipe is so delicious so be sure to make a huge bowl because everyone will want seconds!

Here is my favorite way to prepare and eat a potato: scrub a large baking potato well and bake in oven until skin is browned and well done. Slice it open, place on a dish and season with a touch of sea salt and pepper. Top the potato with tossed green salad mixed with balsamic vinegarette dressing.  I cannot tell you how delicious this is. No butter, sour cream or other toppings needed.

I have a lot of friends who love to dine at steak houses.  I don't eat steak, or chicken or fish so I order a plain baked potato with a large tossed salad. My friends are happy. I am happy. It's all good.

You can find additional healthy potato recipes and a whole lot more on Cynfully .

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

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