Tips on Buying and Cooking Potatoes

Since we are all trying to save money these days, I'll bet we are all using more potatoes than ever before. Potatoes are good source of vitamins and minerals. Potatoes contain no fat or cholesterol and minimal sodium. A six-ounce potato contains 2 grams of highly digestible protein, almost as much as half a glass of milk. Here is the breakdown on nutrients in potatoes:

An average (~5.3 oz) potato with the skin contains:

* 45% of the daily value for vitamin C

* 620 mg potassium

* trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc

* 110 calories and no fat.

Here are some tips from Graham and Rosemary Haley's book Haley's Hints on using and buying potatoes:

Peeling - Pour boiling water over potatoes just before peeling to ease the peeling process.

Consider not peeling - The Haley's offer a most interesting statistic on potato peels. "It's said that the average family's annual potato peels amount to the following nutrients. The iron provided by approximately 450 eggs, the protein of 50 steaks and the vitamin C you can get from 100 glasses of orange juice."

Baking Potatoes - Boil potatoes whole for fifteen minutes before placing in a hot oven. Saves half the baking time. Did you know your oven is the one of the most expensive electrical appliances to use in terms of kilowatt used per hour? To keep your baked potatoes warm slip them into an extra pair of oven mitts. They'll stay warm until you are ready to serve.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes - Mash potatoes will be light and fluffy if milk is heated and added before mashing. If you do not want to use milk in your mashed potatoes add some of the water you boiled the potatoes in to increase fluffiness. If your mashed potatoes are too soggy, stir in some powdered milk gradually with a whisk until texture is satisfactory.

Home fries - Sprinkle potatoes to be fried with flour. They come out golden brown. Add garlic salt and a bit of paprika for extra flavor.

Un-fried Fries - Coat french fry cut potatoes with egg whites and add a little seasoning like paprika, salt and garlic. Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Buying Potatoes - Pick potatoes with a uniform shape. Size doesn't matter, as long as they have a good weight to them. Look for potatoes with a smooth texture and firm feel. Watch out for 'eyes', cracks, shriveling and a greenish texture.

Get more tips on living on cheap but well. Visit our site and see our recipe for Baked Potato Soup


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