It’s time for planting potatoes at HealthBarn USA! Here in the tri-state area, lots of varieties are grown, from long and skinny fingerlings to Adirondack Blues. And as long as you’re not turning them into French fries, potatoes offer tons of nutritional value, differing slightly depending on the variety. One medium baked potato, with the skin, is an excellent source of potassium for the heart and vitamin C to boost the immune system. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, the B vitamins: niacin, folate and vitamin B6, and the minerals iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. WOW! Are these spuds packed with vitamins and minerals!
Potatoes are one of our most popular veggies planted in the HealthBarn USA garden. We start with the eyes of potatoes (those little nubbins that grow on aging potatoes), and plant those in the ground. The eyes are really easy for kids to handle, so it’s a great gardening activity to do with our younger Seedlings. As the plant grows, you need to continue to mound the soil just under the top of the plant so it can grow even more potatoes. You can also plant the eyes covered lightly in soil in a large container with drainage holes or old tires and then, as the plant grows tall, you keep adding soil to cover the plant (and if using an old tire, just keep stacking tires). Once the plant has reached it’s maximum height and starts to brown, it’s ready to harvest. Typically around the end of summer or early fall, the kids love to find potatoes on the ground or in the containers, like “digging for gold!” We plant mostly Yukon Golds and French Fingerlings.
Fresh, flavorful potatoes have lots of potential ranging from mashed potatoes, to potato salad, to roasted potatoes. We use in potatoes in lots of our favorite recipes. They make our delectable Creamy Broccoli Soup thick and hearty. Then we got super creative and created Pizza Potato Skins by combining two of our favorite things! These skins make great use of the nutrition-packed potato skins in a way that definitely appeals to kids’ taste buds!
What are your favorite healthy potato recipes?
– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA