Potatoes are one the most popular side dishes eaten around the world. Potatoes are often fried, leaving them loaded with high amounts of fat, calories and sodium. The next time you’re thinking about adding potatoes to your menu, why not try baking, mashing, or grilling them? You’ll be amazed at the results.
One of the most traditional ways to serve potatoes is by baking them. Baking potatoes is great because not only does it provide a delicious side to beef, chicken and even fish, but it’s one of the most healthy ways to prepare the vegetable. Start by finding a potato that is free from tubules and decay. Rinse the potato under running water, and scrub gently with a vegetable brush. Use a sturdy fork to poke holes evenly over the entire potato, and carefully rinse one more time. Place the potato into the oven at high heat, and bake for around 45 minutes. Check the doneness of the potato by sticking a fork into the center. If the fork is easily removed, the potato is fully cooked. If you can’t easily remove the fork, bake it for another few minutes, and continue checking at regular intervals. For healthiest results when making baked potatoes, skip the traditional toppings such as cheese, bacon and sour cream, and instead choose salsa or olive oil.
Mashing your potatoes is another healthy alternative to frying, but it does require a bit more work. Start with relatively small potatoes, such as red or “new” potatoes. Wash them and place on a clean cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the potatoes into evenly sized cubes, ideally around one inch in size. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and place the cubed potatoes into the water. Boil the potatoes for around 20 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the potatoes, and place in a large, clean bowl. Mash them using a potato masher or fork until they have reached your desired degree of texture. Mix in a small amount of olive oil for flavoring instead of the traditional milk or cream. Serve warm, and dig in.
Grilling your potatoes is a unique, appetizing way to serve them. Start by slicing raw, cleaned potatoes into even slices that are around 1/4 inch thick. Season them with olive oil, rosemary and other seasonings of your choice. Place a wooden skewer that has been soaked in water through the length of the potato, and place on a grill over medium heat. Grill the potatoes for around five minutes before flipping to the other side. Carefully remove the potatoes from the wooden skewers, and serve immediately.