I will never understand why people forsake the potato. No, a potato isn't "fattening" — it's a vegetable! The "problem" is the company Mr. Potato sometimes hangs around with. It's not the potato in the french fry that's fattening, it's the oil the potato was fried in and is dripping with. It's not the baked potato that's unhealthy, it's the bacon, cheese and sour cream plopped on top of it.
Potatoes are wonderfully healthy, versatile and inexpensive — and today I'm their defender! I hope after this post you'll eat a potato :)
Interestingly, this guy lived on potatoes (and only potatoes) for 60 days (and his health IMPROVED).
Even though Chris ate enough potatoes (1,200!!) to meet his daily calorie needs to maintain his weight, he still lost a total of 21 lbs.! Chris's glucose also came down 10 points and his cholesterol came down an amazing 67 points — plus he felt great!! AMAZING.
Somehow potatoes got a reputation for having no nutrition — when they're actually overloaded with nutrients! In fact, potatoes have more potassium than a banana!
Here are some great ways to eat a potato you may not have thought of:
Fries: Have you tried the baked fries in HHA (p. 70)? You can also take your cooked potatoes, slice them up, and put them under the broiler for a few minutes. Try adding different spices like curry, chili and cajun seasoning. I also like adding nutmeg, cinnamon or garam masala to sweet potato fries!
Potato Pizza: My friend Natala turned me on to potato pizzas! It really scratches that pizza itch! Top your baked potato with all your favorite plant-based toppings like marinara sauce, mushrooms, spinach, fresh basil, sliced black olives and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or vegan parm or the pizza cheese sauce in HHC (p. 242 HHC). Bake for 10 minutes at 400F.
Chili-Stuffed Potatoes: This is a popular easy weeknight dish on our meal plans. Load up a baked potato or baked sweet potato with a vegetarian chili or leftover bean-based soup.
Potato Hot Dog: Another "idea" I picked up from Natala. When she was craving a vegan hot dog bad, she decided to put all her favorite toppings — mustard, sauerkraut, onions and baked beans — on her baked potato instead. Total heaven. I've had her potato dog, and my own — a baked potato topped with unsweetened ketchup, mustard and dill relish. It's crazy good! I love a potato hot dog!
Sweet Potato Ice Cream: Peel and chop cooked sweet potatoes and freeze overnight. Let thaw for 15 minutes and put in your blender of food processor with a little non-dairy milk to make it creamy. Add a touch of cinnamon and maple syrup if desired. So, so good!
Not-Yo Potato! My favorite way to eat a potato, with salsa and HH Queso (p. 198 HHA) and Fresh Pico (p. 202 HHA)
I also asked the Herbies on Facebook to share their favorite ways to eat potatoes. Here are some of their highlights:
"Grated, seasoned and grilled in my waffle iron. Love them crispy"
"I seriously just bake them and toss them in my bag....I can eat a baked potato cold and be a happy girl"
"Roasted, with rosemary and parsley!"
"Roasted with carrots!"
"Scrubbed (not peeled), quartered, boiled, mashed, then drowned in chopped tomato (heated!), with fresh ground black pepper and a little salt — lovely, fat-free winter comfort-food"
"Potato with veggie chili!"
"Boil whole small, I use baby reds, then place on cookie sheet, smash, sprinkle with herbs and bake til crunchy!"
"Baked and smothered in EHH everyday mushroom gravy!!!"
"Baked with dill & vinegar."
Update: After this blog post aired, we received this email from a reader
"I wanted to share with you that potatoes actually saved my life when I
was 6 months old. I am in my 60's now, and back then gastro interties
was a malady that many many newborn babies died of. Basically no food
would stay down, not even eyedropper drops of water could be tolerated.
So dehydration is what killed them. There was a doctor pediatrician who immediately put me on a
diet of mashed potatoes and sour cream. My mom and dad said it was a
long haul, but eventually I started to get better. I wanted to share
that with you.....that yes, potatoes are very healthy."