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Savor the Season: Potatoes

The humble spud is a winter superstar and comfort food champion.
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Cheesy Bacon Potato Skins

Fried potato skins topped with cheese and bacon make a flavorful snack - ready in just an hour.


Think way beyond the fast-food fries. Potatoes, the comfort food champion, are easy to use no matter how you slice (or mash) them. Check out our tips!


Prep

Store cut potatoes in cold water up to 2 hours before cooking to keep them from turning dark colored.


Peeling

Hold the potato in one hand, and a peeler in the other hand. Slant the peeler downward and slowly peel the skin off. Repeat the same motion from top to bottom, rotating the potato after each peel until all the skin is removed. Rinse the finished potato in cold water.


Freezing

Cooked potatoes make the best candidates for freezing. To freeze fresh potatoes, peel them into cubes for mashed potatoes, or into french-fry stick sizes. Cook them in water until slightly tender, remove from heat and cool. Store the potatoes in freezer-grade Ziploc plastic bags, or airtight Ziploc containers that can go from the freezer to the microwave to the dinner table. Use frozen foods within 3 months.


Nutritional & Health Highlights

Pick a potato, any potato, and it can pack a nutritional punch. Russets, reds, Yukon golds, the exotic blue and purple potatoes, and others are filled with good things. Be sure to eat their skins. Much of the nutrition, including fiber and antioxidants, can be found there.

Potassium

Vitamin B6

Antioxidants

Iron

Fiber

Vitamin C

Magnesium

Piling on the butter and sour cream can detract somewhat from a potato's nutritional punch. On its own, however, a baked potato contains about 120 calories and 20 percent of a day's worth of potassium. Other health benefits:

Nearly half of the vitamin C your body should have each day can come from a simple spud.

A potassium-rich diet may help protect against high blood pressure, as well as help nerve and muscle cells function well.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps disable harmful free radicals (substances that may damage cells). Vitamin C also helps form and strengthen bones, teeth, blood vessels and other tissues in the body.


Roasting

To roast, place cubed potatoes on a greased baking tray. Season the way you like them (salt, pepper, onion powder, or garlic powder, dried herbs are just a few of your options). Drizzle with olive oil. Heat in a 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes. Check for tenderness by piercing with a fork.


Mashing

Try these tips to make them the best!

Russet potatoes will make fluffier mashed potatoes.

Yellow, white and red potatoes will need a little extra TLC to turn them into mashed because they can become gummy. Leaving the skin on adds flavor and nutrients. Simply scrub skins with a vegetable brush, clean cloth or sponge

Cut potatoes into pieces of the same size before cooking.