Potatoes


Season for Potatoes Year Round, depending upon location


Potatoes Described

Potatoes get a bad rap, nutritionally speaking. And rightfully so if you’re eating them as french fries, chips or slathered in butter. But the potato on its own is quite healthy. Potatoes are tubers – the swollen portion of the underground stem – and actually store all the vitamins and minerals needed to grow the green leafy portion of the plant. Today, over a hundred varieties of spuds are grown around the world, and in the US can be divided into four basic categories: russet, long white, round white and round red, ranging in color, size & flavor but generally described as rich and creamy.


How to Buy and Store Potatoes

Avoid buying your potatoes pre-packaged in plastic as often moisture can build up and cause decay (unless perforated, though we’re still not fans of plastic). Also, steer clear of prewashed taters, as once washed, they are more susceptible to bacteria. Instead, choose your potatoes for their firm, dry & smooth surfaces free of decay, any sprouting, green coloration or shriveling. Store them in a cool, dark place with ventilation and they will keep for weeks, except for new potatoes which are much more perishable. Don’t keep potatoes in the fridge though, as they will darken and develop a strange flavor. And keep them away from onions.


How to Cook Potatoes

Potatoes are arguably the most versatile vegetable we can think of. They can be boiled, baked, fried, steamed, roasted, mashed, and placed in salads, with or without the peel, though we have definite preferences for the healthiest ways to prepare. Packed with vitamins, potato skins contain fibre and flavonoids and other nutrients, so keep them on! It’s a shame to throw out all that goodness. Microwaving and frying are absolutely our least favorite modes of preparation – well, in general – but for making your potato work for you and not against you. Baked, steamed or sautéed in vegetable broth but not fried, potatoes deserve a place on your plate. Our Roasted Organic Heirloom Potatoes with Fresh Herb Pesto is a good place to start. But there’s no limit to where the potato can go! 


Health Benefits of Potatoes

Take away the superfluous fat and deep frying, and potatoes are exceptionally healthful, low calorie & high fiber, and also a major comfort food. Owing to their phytochemical profiles which include carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid (as well as unique tuber storage proteins), potatoes offer significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Put to rest their starch-only image, and just get smart about your cooking techniques. 


Why Buy Natural and Organic Potatoes

The Environmental Working Group places potatoes among the Dirty Dozen, or 12 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. So, if you want to avoid pesticide-associated health risks, you definitely want to stick to organically-grown taters. Fried and processed foods made with potatoes – like those yummy potato chips and french fries – are considered among the highest risk of foods when it comes to acrylamide exposure, which is potentially cancer causing. We’re just saying…

image: kthread