All the low carb and low glycemic naysayers ban it from our plates. Some view it as merely a pantry staple there to provide comfort and a full tummy. Throw a stick of butter on it and call it a day. But, I say hold on. Look a little further. This little red gem in not boring, nor will it make us pack on a gut if we don't let it. In fact, the taste of an organic new potato fresh from a farm stand, farmers' market or from your own garden is a healthy standout. With the right healthy additions, the humble and bland potato can be brought to new heights. Could it be, especially when it is fresh from the field, the once thought dud could really be . . . a stud?
What The Spud Can Do For Your HealthHere is why the spud could be called down right studly:
- Fiber has many health benefits. New potatoes, particularly if they are prepared with the skin left on, provide loads of it.
- One serving of new potatoes contains almost 45 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.
- 10 percent of the RDA for vitamin B6 can be consumed in one serving.
- Lots of antioxidants like kukoamines and flavonoids like anthocyanins and carotenoids are found in the new potato. Consuming foods rich in kukoamine compounds may help prevent hypertension and flavonoids may protect against heart disease and cancer.
- New potatoes contain a high concentration of potassium -more than a banana!
- Potatoes contain good amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium - all important minerals we need each day.
- It lasts for weeks in our pantry and, if stored correctly, does not spoil.
- It has no fat unless you laden it with butter and other fats.
- It is filling helping you avoid snacking later in the day or evening.
- Potatoes are inexpensive.
- Organic varieties are fairly easy to find.
Steamed New Potatoes with Lemon and HerbsHere is how I prepared a recent basket of tiny new potatoes I was lucky enough to purchase locally. The new potato served this way can be consumed cold or warm. It screams summer with fresh herbs, the lemon, and the earthiness of the potato. It is both filling and light at the same time with no butter or other heavy ingredients. Bring it to your next summer potluck, concert picnic or dinner al fresco tonight.
- 1.5 pounds of tiny fresh new potatoes - or any very small waxy potato - scrubbed well
- 1 large organic lemon, juiced
- zest of lemon
- 3/4 cup organic plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Several grinds from the pepper mill
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1/2 cup fresh minced chives
- large handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into a fine chiffonade
- 6-8 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- optional: 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Place potatoes in steamer with 4-6 oregano sprigs.
- Cover and steam until tender, depending on the size of your potatoes, between 15 - 20 minutes.
- White potatoes are steaming, combine yogurt, salt, pepper, pesto, lemon juice and zest and stir well. Set aside.
- Remove leaves from remaining oregano sprigs and set aside.
- While still warm, coat steamed potatoes with yogurt mixture well.
- Optional: Drizzle with olive oil if it seems too dry.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, chives, basil chiffonade and oregano leaves.
- Taste and adjust seasonings for salt and pepper, more lemon, etc.
How to Chiffonade
Watch this video on how to make a beautiful, healthy garnish:
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobstone/187419828/">tobstone</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>