What Is the Most Nutritional Way to Cook a Potato?

by Maggie McCormick

    Potatoes have earned a bad reputation, with many believing that they have little nutritional value. In reality, potatoes are highly nutritious -- they are low in fat and have almost 50 percent of the recommended daily values of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and potassium. The way that you cook the potatoes, however, affects the nutritional value and flavor. Baking and boiling are good ways to take advantage of the spud's nutrition, with many options for adding appeal for even the youngest in the family.

    Cooking Techniques

    Baking your potatoes in a foil wrap preserves all the nutrients in the potato and can be a healthy cooking method. Fruits & Veggies More Matters suggests topping a baked potato with broccoli and a pinch of cheese for flavor. You can also steam or boil the potatoes for making a potato mash. The potato's skin contains many of the nutrients, so if you can get your kids to eat the skins, you should leave them on.

    Toppings and Add-Ins

    Choose flavorful toppings or add-ins when cooking your potatoes. For example, garlic or herbs like basil and rosemary can add a powerful flavor punch. When you want to treat yourself or your family to a favorite topping like sour cream, mix it with a seasoned dip mix ahead of time for extra flavor. Try different creamy dressings for variety, like peppercorn or bacon ranch.

    Adding Other Vegetables

    Increase the nutritional value and flavor when you bulk up your potatoes with other vegetables. Because of its mild taste, cauliflower makes the perfect addition. Mash steamed cauliflower with the potatoes and your kids won't be able to tell that the nutritious vegetable is hiding inside. If you're not in the mood for a mash, roast the potatoes along with other vegetables like broccoli and zucchini.

    Mashed Magic

    When making mashed potatoes, try using creamy buttermilk dressing instead of milk. Decrease the amount of butter and salt to adjust for the dressing's flavor. Boil some sweet potatoes along with the white potatoes for a colorful, flavorful alternative with a wider variety of vitamins. Chop fresh herbs, like parsley or thyme, and mix them in. Try adding different seasoning mixes, like a Southwest blend or a spicy blend. Potatoes are mild in flavor, but they carry seasonings well. Whatever the flavor profile you craft, squeeze in a bit of lime to intensify the seasoning's effect.

    About the Author

    Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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