Food News You Can Use: Potatoes

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Potatoes represent a wonderful solution for many meals. They are inexpensive and a good source of nutrients and fiber. They have a great shelf life. And best of all they can be prepared quickly in a microwave in about 4-6 minutes for one. To keep meals and snacks exciting, today’s cook has a choice of many different kinds of potatoes and yams.

Here is a guide for what to buy and how to prepare them.

Baking potatoes - Brown fleshed potatoes lend themselves the best for baking. These come in plain, Idaho and Yukon Gold varieties. These bake quickly in the microwave and can be stuffed or served with fat free sour cream. They also make great oven fried potatoes.

Yams - there are orange-fleshed and yellow-fleshed yams in various shapes and sizes. The orange fleshed are best for baking - they are moist and sweet and have a beautiful appetizing color. If you are more experimental and want to make pies or mashed sweet potatoes, the yellow ones work well.

Boiling potatoes - here is where you can have a lot of fun with various shapes and colors. Small potatoes are red, gold or white and can be boiled without peeling. Fingerling potatoes are long and thin like their name suggests and they can be used plain or even for a warm potato salad. If you want to have some fun try blue potatoes.

Once boiled, these potatoes can be served with light margarine and fresh herbs. Or they can be tossed with a small amount of mayonnaise and served hot or cold as a salad.

When you bring your potatoes home, make sure you have the right ingredients on hand to serve them. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

  • Light tub margarine - look for one that is trans-fat free and low (<1g) in saturated fat.
  • Fat-free sour cream
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli - excellent when steamed
  • Low-calorie maple syrup - for yams
  • Cinnamon - makes a nice yam topping
  • Low-fat mayonnaise - for finishing warm boiled potatoes into warm or chilled salad
  • Red onions, frozen peas - for wonderful potato salad additions
  • Parmesan cheese - to top baked stuffed potatoes
  • Low-fat chili - another great potato stuffer
  • Vegetable oil spray - for making oven fried potatoes
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