Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't Be Afraid of the Potato

So it turns out that until recently, I didn't know anything about how to bake a potato. Then all of a sudden I had a massive pile up of baking potatoes from my organic vegetable share and I just had to deal with it. So I got out my trusty copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (which, by the way, really should be titled, How to Cook Everything the Best Way Possible) and I followed his instructions. And I learned that a simple baked potato is a wonderful thing.

Perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, potatoes have gotten an unjustified really bad rap. But it's all about what you do to a potato. They are actually rather low in calories, very high in fiber and protein with virtually no fat.  A 3 ounce (weighed after baking) baked potato is 1.5 Weight Watchers points, a 5 ounce is 2 points, and a 7 ounce is 3 points. Not bad at all.  If you treat them this way, you don't have to be scared of a potato.

And don't even get me started on the sweet potato . . .

Perfectly Baked Potatoes

Baking potatoes, such as Idaho or Russet, well scrubbed and trimmed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork or knife. Place potatoes in the oven directly on the rack (not in aluminum foil) and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until you can easily poke a thin-bladed knife into them.

Serve immediately as is, or with salt, pepper, greek yogurt, veggies and tomato sauce or other healthy toppings!


QZB said...

I have also been afraid of the potato, and even whole grains! The curse of the low-carb, low-fat years, I suppose. Thank you for shedding some much needed nutritional light on the much-maligned spud.

liz said...

Can you also debunk corn for us? It's another scary starch!

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