The Skinny on Potatoes

assorted potatoes

“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I’m not sure if I would share MY potato! There are just 110 calories in one medium-size potato. Potatoes are fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free. They’re also a good source of potassium.

It’s not potatoes that pack on the calories, but rather the topping on the potato. An an example,  my colleagues at North Dakota State University Extension Service state, “…  a 100-calorie potato with no fat becomes a ‘stuffed potato’ with 463 calories and 35 grams fat when you add 2 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup of cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of bacon bits.”

One of my favorite low-calorie – but packed with nutrition and taste – ways to top potatoes is with Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh parsley or chives.

baked potato with and without chives

Topping baked potatoes with Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley, adds nutrition, a pop of color and flavor, and few calories.

Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions

Here’s my adaptation of one of our favorite potato recipes for “Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions.” My husband and I enjoyed this while traveling in Sicily. It’s so easy to make! And tastes delicious.

"Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions" are so easy to prepare and taste delicious.

“Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions” are so easy to prepare and taste delicious.

Use amounts of the following ingredients according to personal preference. Limit to an amount that will fit in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides.

■ Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in half
■ Potatoes, peeled and cut in about 1/2 to 1-inch similar-sized pieces
■ Onions, sliced
■ Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine ingredients in a bowl and coat with a small amount of olive oil.
  3.  Roast about 35 to 45 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides, until potatoes are slightly browned and fork tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes

Another favorite is this recipe for “Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes” from the US Potato Board. The only fat in the recipe is in the cheese. No additional fat is used in making the sauce.

The only fat in "Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes" is from the cheese. No additional fat is used in making the cheese sauce.

The only fat in “Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes” is from the cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 cup low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup cooked small broccoli florets
  • Salt & cayenne pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the “potato setting” on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Heat 3/4 cup of the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, about 4 minutes.
  3. Stir together flour and the remaining 1/4 cup milk in a cup until smooth. Add to the hot milk, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and cayenne.
  4. Distribute broccoli over the baked potatoes, top with the cheese sauce and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 269; Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 19mg; Sodium: 218mg; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 11g; Potassium: 989mg

Source: Recipe courtesy of US Potato Board. For more potato recipes, visit: http://www.potatogoodness.com

Whether you say PO-TAY-TO or PO-TAH-TO, potatoes taste great on your plate!

One response to “The Skinny on Potatoes

  1. Thanks for the post. I’m trying to up my potassium. Everyone tells me to eat bananas, which is fine – but potatoes are an even better source of potassium. And the Greek yogurt also has potassium and calcium. A win-win.

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