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Nutrition and Health

Potatoes provide vitamins C and B-1, niacin, potassium and iron. One medium-sized potato has fewer than 100 calories.


Potatoes should be fairly clean, firm and smooth. Choose regular shapes so there won't be too much waste in peeling. Avoid green potatoes; they have been exposed to light, creating solanine, a potentially toxic alkaloid. If your potatoes have green sections, simply cut off the green parts and discard. The rest of the potato is fine to eat.


Store potatoes in a cool, humid, dark place that's well ventilated. The ideal temperature for storage is 45°F to 50°F. At this temperature, potatoes will keep well for several weeks. Warmer temperatures encourage sprouting and shriveling.


Leave skins on if possible. The skin has a good flavor and holds a great deal of the nutrition. When peeled, they start to turn brown, so use immediately or drop in water with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. When baking whole potatoes, be sure to prick the skins so steam won't build up causing the potato to explode in the oven. They can also be boiled by covering with water or steaming over 1 to 2 inches of water for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on size of pieces.


Skinny French Fries

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and paprika

Cut potatoes. Spread strips in one layer on a jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with oil. Shake pan to distribute oil evenly over potatoes. Bake strips at 450°F until golden brown and tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning frequently. Sprinkle generously with salt and paprika. 4 servings

Twice Baked Potatoes

  • 4 baked potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ¼-½ cup grated cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut a small slice off the top of each baked potato. Scoop out pulp and mash with butter, milk and salt. Refill each shell with mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. 4 servings

Additions: Top with cooked crumbled bacon, green onions, cooked and drained spinach, broccoli or cauliflower, or minced herbs.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon Gold work well), quartered and peeled if desired
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper

Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender and a fork can easily be poked through. Drain well.

Incorporate milk and butter with potato masher or mixer. Season with salt and pepper. 4 servings

Additions: Stir in grated cheese or fresh or dried herbs.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 pounds small potatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a bowl combine olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary.

Add potatoes and toss, making sure well coated with oil mixture.

Transfer potatoes to a cookie sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, flipping potatoes twice.

Remove from oven and serve hot. 8 servings

Potato Leek Soup

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4-5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup minced parsley or chives

Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the leeks and potatoes.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Blend until smooth either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches.

Add the cream, and season to taste with salt. Garnish with minced herbs.

Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Salad

  • 6 cups cubed (½ inch) peeled root vegetables, such
  • as potatoes, carrots, turnips or beets (or a mixture)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 6- to 7-ounce cans boneless, skinless wild Alaska salmon, drained and flaked
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss root vegetables in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Spread vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Stir and continue roasting until soft and golden brown in spots, 13 to 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each pepper and salt in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing in small bowl. Add the salad greens to the large bowl and toss to combine; divide among 4 dinner plates.

When the vegetables are done, transfer them to the large bowl and gently combine with the reserved dressing, salmon and scallions. Top the greens with the salmon and vegetables.

Leif Albertson, Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development. Originally prepared by Roxie Rodgers Dinstel, former Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development.

Reviewed December 2018