All potato dishes are not created equal. Potatoes are high in starchy carbohydrates and low in protein. That doesn't mean that potatoes are bad for you. They are still a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, especially if you eat the skin. Potatoes are good for you as long as you prepare them properly. However, some potato dishes are better for us than others. Boiled and baked potatoes are healthy. French fries and potato chips are not so healthy.
Potatoes are fairly low in calories. One medium plain potato has about 130 calories, but the calorie count goes us when you use high-fat toppings like butter, margarine, sour cream, or gravy.
Mashed potato is a dish prepared by mashing boiled potatoes. Butter, vegetable oil, milk and/or cream are usually added to improve flavor and texture, and the potatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs and spices. Popular ingredients and seasonings include garlic, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, crisp onion or spring onion, mustard, spices such as nutmeg, chopped herbs such as parsley or rosemary, white turnip, and wasabi.
A baked potato is a well cooked potato with a fluffy interior and a crisp skin. It may be served with fillings and condiments such as butter, cheese or ham. Potatoes can be baked in a conventional gas or electric oven, a convection oven, a microwave oven, on a barbecue grill, or on an open fire.
Despite the popular myth that potatoes are fattening, baked potatoes can be used as part of a healthy diet. Some toppings on baked potatoes might make them become unhealthy.
French fries are served hot and generally eaten as a snack or along with fast foods such as with a hamburger, cheeseburger or hot dog. French fries are usually salted and served with ketchup. French fries can be the skinny ones called string fries or larger ones called steak fries.
A potato chip is a thin slice of potato that is deep fried or baked until crunchy. Potato chips are commonly served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. The potato chip is a savory snack that accounts for about $16.4 billion in sales. This is about 35.5% of the total snacks revenue in a market of about $46.1 billion.
Au gratin potatoes are slices of boiled potato that have been cooked in a buttered fireproof dish, topped with a crust sprinkled with bread crumbs, grated cheese, eggs and butter. The dish is browned in the oven or under the grill.
While au gratin potatoes are sprinkled with cheese, scalloped potatoes are potatoes cooked with a cream sauce. Scalloped potatoes are a type of casserole combining thin slices of potatoes, cheese, milk or cream, and breadcrumbs.
Healthy Potato Ideas
Potatoes can be a healthy dish if they are cooked according to the following suggestions:
- Serve baked potatoes with salsa or some broccoli and sprinkle about one ounce of shredded cheese on top.
- Baked fries contain no added fat.
- Make mashed potatoes with low-fat sour cream, skim milk and chives.
- Potatoes cooked in the microwave do not contain acrylamides.
- Add potato slices with skins to soups and stews.